Wise (Spectrum, The Children's Game) centers his latest suspense on an otherwise normal CIA agent who becomes a paranormal CIA agent and gives new meaning to the term ""spook,"" as the superpowers lay aside the nukes and gear up for psychic Star Wars. When an American ballistic missile seems to turn around in mid-flight and head back to California, there can be only one explanation: the Soviets, pioneers in the study of paranormal phenomena, have found a way to defeat the laws of physics using psychic powers. That's what his cynical, East Coast, effete, Anglophile bosses at the CIA tell dedicated, hard-working, second-generation spy James Markham. And then they tell him he's got to find a way to get to the Soviet psychic center at Samarkand in the Uzbek People's Republic to find out just what the Evil Empire is up to and how they turn those rockets around. As a first step, Markham has to spend a few weeks in New Orleans, where it seems we Americans have our own zillion-dollar, super-secret psychic research center in a Garden District mansion--only we're still in the table-rapping stage compared to the Soviets. Pausing only for a few tumbles with a gorgeous Creole psychic, Markham crams his head with psychic facts and psychic figures, so he can pass himself off as a money-hungry and alcoholic psychic scientist to the Soviets, who will enlist him as an agent and take him to Samarkand. Which they do. Heavy-handed pseudoscience fiction and a silly spy story.