. . . go into Gastronom No. 3 in Gorkiy Street and select a can of peas from the shelves precisely on the hour. A woman will...

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MASTER PLOT

. . . go into Gastronom No. 3 in Gorkiy Street and select a can of peas from the shelves precisely on the hour. A woman will be there--she will recognize you--and will whisper a telephone number to you. Ring it and ask if you are speaking to Sergey Khomenko. The reply will be yes. Then say that you are a friend of Ivan, and Ivan told you that Khomenko has a library containing all Rudyard Kipling's works, and that you're an admirer of Kipling and Ivan told you. . . ."" Such unintentionally hilarious ad-absurdums are the only relief from routine in this SIS/KGB spy-rofoam, which finds the Brits investigating the ""suicide"" of an SIS agent-traitor (actually murdered by the Russkies) while their Mata Hari--complete with regulation ""pale champagne hair""--explicitly seduces (and, alack, falls for) a KGBiggie, thus helping to uncover the Soviet Master Plot: the blitzkrieg reunification of Germany (?!). Smith, who's big on ""factualism,"" dishes out codewords and footnotes and even the fine print on packing labels, all to no avail in a Gastronom No. 3 that starts out with commendable simplicity and then goes careening down Gorkiy Street into NATO, SDECD, SB, SEKRETNO, and that crucial can of peas.

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 1977

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1977