An American spy, captured, tortured, and then surprisingly released by the Soviets, becomes a fugitive from Americans who believe he has been turned—and from some bad eggs who know he has not. Flannery also wrote The Caribbean, Gulag, and Moscow Crossing. It's a nightmare for third-generation American spy David McAllister. Arrested in Moscow just after a confusing and possibly worthless interview with an old contact, McAllister undergoes the worst in torture and interrogation that the KGB has to offer. McAllister is tough, hanging on and holding out as long as possible—even though he knows he must break—and he keeps enough wit about him to wonder why his interrogator has no interest in his most recent spywork. Even more confusing are his subsequent trial, where his American contact orders him to plead guilty, and his sudden, unexplained release. He's not the only one surprised and confused, either. His old employers seem to think the only reason for such a release would be McAllister's agreement to work for the Soviets. His unhappy homecoming turns wild when McAllister's CIA babysitters are shot clown on the tarmac at Kennedy Airport, McAllister breaks away and heads for Washington, where he finds that absolutely everybody who is anybody is after him. It takes all of his cunning and physical skis—as well as the loving assistance of an attractive CIA employee—to dodge the unending supply of goons from the CIA, Mafia, and KGB who chase him from Tidewater Virginia to Chicago to L.A. and back again. In between bullets, McAllister figures out that he's stumbled on a spy network that has penetrated the CIA all the way to the top. Cleaning it all up takes him, amazingly, all the way back to Moscow. Overlong but mainly entertaining thriller-fare.
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