Cory, whose best friends have always been diamonds (his earliest books), offers an unconscionably ingenious and admirable teaser in which Oliver Milton, a mindbender (actually his mind is more split than bent) and prison psychiatrist is used, willingly, by most seductive Valerie to secure some diamonds her husband had stolen. He is currently in jail, having killed a policeman en route. Then there's Cat Devlin, a Welsh gutter rat, who is also being used to help the prisoner escape during his transfer to a hospital -- presumably they will then learn where the diamonds are. And of course Valerie, the Circe or catalyst of the title who's just as alluring as she is impermeable. Cory tells his story via his alternating participants and it is tricky, amusing (a wicked sendup of psychiatry) and as cold as ice -- either kind. Follow the gleam and enjoy it.