Study Guide

Stormbreaker Lies and Deceit

By Anthony Horowitz

Lies and Deceit

What saddened him the most was the realization—too late now—that despite everything, he had hardly known his uncle at all. (1.14)

Ian Rider led a secretive life, but Alex doesn't realize the significance of this until it's too late. But how could he have guessed the truth?

The desk drawers, the closets, the shelves… anything connected to the dead man's work had been taken. Whatever the truth was about his uncle's past, someone had just wiped it out. (1.55)

Looks like this thing goes deeper than Alex thought. Why would somebody go through so much trouble to wipe out the identity of an average-joe banker?

But why? […] It was the police who had delivered the new that night, so they must be part of it. Had they lied deliberately? None of it made sense. (2.19)

Alex pulls one thread and suddenly a whole conspiracy unravels. You know you're dealing with heavy stuff when the other team has the police on their side.

It could have been the entrance to anywhere. A hospital. A concert hall. Even a cruise liner. The place had no identity of its own. (3.21)

MI6 HQ has been designed to look as plain as possible. Sometimes deception is as simple as going by unnoticed.

Alex thought about the dead man, what he had known of him. His privacy. His long absences abroad. And all the times he had come home injured. (4.21)

How did Alex rationalize Ian's many injuries? Paper cut accidents? Coin counter disasters? Being a banker is tough these days.

Ian Rider had told him that he was going to an insurance convention. Another lie in a life that had been nothing but lies. (4.60)

At first, Alex resents Ian for misleading him, but he eventually realizes that his uncle was just trying to protect him.

That morning Alex had read through the file and knew that Lester went to a school called St. Anthony's, had two sisters and a per Labrador [...] A happy family—his family if anybody asked. (7.2)

Now Alex is the one doing the deceiving. Although he's not very good at it, he'll have plenty of time to build his skills.

They'd always thought he had something to hide. But even they had never guessed the truth. He wasn't a friend of England. He was its worst enemy. (13.5)

Sayle plays the role of Charitable Billionaire Playboy with gusto—after all, there's no better disguise for his true intentions.

"We put a D-notice on it, which mean nobody is allowed to print anything. Of course, the ceremony at the Science Museum was being televised live, but fortunately we [...] cut the transmission." (17.5)

This is deceit on a grand scale. MI6 isn't only interested in keeping secrets from other spies—they're interested in keeping them from the public.

"Forget about the submarine." It was obvious that Blunt didn't want to talk about it. "You can just be sure that we'll make all the necessary inquiries." (17.17)

Alex risks his life to fulfill his mission, yet Blunt still won't be straight with him. Mr. Blunt doesn't seem too trustworthy for a good guy, huh?