The underlying theme of this book, and the series so far, is definitely Alex's search for answers about his past. He hasn't known the truth about his parents until SCORPIA showed him the video of his father's death, where he was assassinated by MI6. Before this book, Alex had been working with MI6, under the assumption that his parents had been killed in a plane crash. The truth is out now, but Alex still doesn't have all the answers he needs. Apparently, his father had gotten pretty close with Julia Rothman, a senior operative in SCORPIA who has now employed Alex. So far he has learned that both his father and uncle were spies, but his mother supposedly was not. Her death is still claimed to be caused by a plane crash on her way to Paris. Curious. Alex is constantly hearing about how great his father was now and how good he is expected to be. He doesn't quite know whether to follow in his father's footsteps yet or not, but he doesn't have much choice now. SCORPIA has pulled him in and is giving him the one thing he craves the most, information about his past, so I'm guessing the more he does for them, the more information they will give him in return.