The Man is Oldenshaw: an immodest, ex-Oxford type with a mind trained to devour information like a computer. He rose to prominence during the planning of D-Day. His partner is Dimmock, a former student of the Ohio Institute of Criminology: Oldenshaw's red-brick equal. Room 17 is the secret centre of operations for the Department of Special Research, a unit set up to study the criminal mind and handle cases that have baffled the police and security services. Answerable only to the Prime Minister, 'The Men in Room 17' pull the strings that make the undercover world dance, without even leaving the confines of their Whitehall office.