|“||This was a man who had been moulded by the work he did. With his clean-shaven, rather plastic looks, he reminded Alex of a dummy in a shop window. Turn him over, Alex thought, and you'd find CIA stamped on the sole of his feet||”|
—Alex's opinion of Turner
Tom Turner (US: Glen Carver) was a minor protagonist in the novel Skeleton Key.
Turner was a former CIA agent, who accompanied Alex Rider to the island of Cayo Esqueleto (Skeleton Key) under the alias of Tom Gardiner, Alex’s father, with Belinda Troy appearing under the guise of Alex’s mother.
It should be noted that in the US version of the novel, his name is changed to Glen Carver, and he goes to Skeleton Key under the alias of Glen Gardiner.
Turner is described as being a handsome man, around the age of forty. He has fair, close-cropped hair, blue eyes, and a clean shaven, "tough and boyish" face. When he first meets Alex, he is dressed casually in jeans, an open necked shirt and a loose, soft leather jacket; clothes which Alex notes immediately don’t suit him, as it was obvious that he was "a man who had been moulded by the work he did."
When Alex first meets Troy and Turner, they are described as being hard-bitten, emotionless and empty, presumably due to their work with the CIA.
It is said that Troy and Turner worked together many times before their mission with Alex, and at first, both appear very angry and annoyed that they are being forced to take Alex along to Cuba, one of their arguments being that Alex isn't American and may blow their cover, getting them killed. Later on when they are having breakfast, Turner and Troy treat Alex negatively, criticizing him for his mistakes (like when Alex uses the English word 'jam' instead of the American term 'jelly') and refusing to tell him information about the situation, until Alex declares he has had enough and threatens to go back to London, after which they grudgingly tell him select information.
Prior to actually leaving for Skeleton Key, Turner was working undercover with the Salesman, a man they suspected to be linked with uranium sold to General Alexei Sarov. Turner bought drugs from the Salesman in order to gain his trust, and claims they have a good relationship. On the day they are having breakfast together, he announces that he is going on the Salesman’s boat (the Mayfair Lady) for a drink with him as it’s his birthday. However, when he does, he is tied up and told he is to be killed after the Salesman found out about his true alliances. He is rescued by Alex, who sets the boat on fire, and after they fall off the boat into the water, it blows up. Afterwards, both Tunrer and Troy refuse to acknowledge that Alex saved Turner's life, "as if, in some way, he had dented their professional pride" and maintain that Alex was responsible for the boat blowing up, killing everyone on board, though this is later revealed to have been caused by Conrad, on the orders of General Sarov.
Later, despite Turner’s objections, his partner tells Alex about the real reason for their trip to Cuba when Alex discovers the Geiger Counter hidden inside the Game Boy they give him. As their mission is to infiltrate General Sarov's home, they realize that their best shot is to climb through an underwater ladder that leads to his home, known as the "Devil’s Chimney”, but both Turner and Troy are killed in the entrance to it in a trap left by General Sarov.
- Turner claims that even when he was a child younger than Alex, all he wanted was to be in the Marines and he was in the Marines prior to going to the CIA. He declares that his dream is to die for his country.