Written by Old Bluffer 27th Jul 2006
This is the death that launches Alex Rider's career as a spy. Ian Rider, Alex's uncle, has kept his glamorous role a secret from his nephew, and is considered to be something of an unreliable fuddy duddy as a result (although he still manages to surreptitiously train Alex in foreign languages, riding, martial arts, mountaineering and countless other skills needed by an action hero secret agent).
Ian Rider's death is a necessary plot device, and he exacerbates this point by phoning Alex to promise they will soon finally be able to spend some quality time together, whilst being pursued by Darrius Sayle's (q.v.) henchmen.
Rider drives a very fast car indeed, but that isn't much help when he is being chased by a helicopter. However, this "experienced" agent isn't even aware of this because he has inadvisedly turned up the volume on his in-car music system all the way to 11.
This oversight allows Gregorovich to dangle upside down from the helicopter and execute Rider with his twin pistols. Rider presumably died instantly, still humming along to his stereo.
As far as killing someone from a helicopter goes, this is quite a flashy technique.
Ian Rider is about to die - but at least the last thing he sees will be a rather nice CGI sequence of the bullets flying through his window.
Unlike most youths of his age, Alex doesn't lie in till noon every day and view the world with the perception of an unusually dull witted zombie.
He therefore investigates the Government's resulting coverup and discovers his uncle's car, covered in bullet holes and replete with a sophisticated "eject" facility. At this point, he is pretty sure something is up.