Here, Hyde (Maxwell's Train, 1985, etc.) writes of a hired assassin who stalks the President through the sewers of Washington, D.C., with the apparent blessing of the CIA--while the FBI, KGB, and the GRU try to sort out the politics, clues, and initials. The Romulus Committee, a supersecret cabal that's been keeping an eye on things in Washington since finding it necessary to remove Franklin Delano Roosevelt from the scene, has a new problem to solve in the post-Bush era: a President with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. These arrogant gentlemen, a group that includes several cabinet officers and the deputy director of the CIA, are the only people who have the bad news, however, since they have ordered the drowning of the unfortunate doctor who diagnosed the problem and who then ran to them with the test results. What should the cabal do? Creutzfeldt-Jakob is a kind of fast-acting form of Alzheimer's, and the President is already appearing a bit odd. And the members of the cabal thoroughly disapprove of the leftish vice-president. The only answer is to hire former CIA killer Eric Rhinelander, a free-lance assassin who, for a price, will take out the President and his legal successor in one spectacular blow. Rhinelander works out an elaborate and clever plan that may very well work if he can elude FBI agent Stephen Stone and his surprising associate--Col. Travkin of the Soviet military intelligence agency--as well as the mysterious CIA mole who is reporting the whole story to Moscow. Swallow the silly stuff about the cabal and it's a pretty good thriller.