Wily British intelligence chief Sir Kenneth Aubrey and his number one agent Patrick Hyde, last seen in Wildcat (1988), return to sort out some thoroughly nasty joint CIA/KGB mischief. The pleasure of Sir Kenneth's return to the corridors of power is spoiled for him by the news that protÃ‰gÃ‰ Patrick Hyde has been killed in action while spying on the belligerents in central Asia--where the Afghan civil war lives on and where the Moslem population in the Soviet republics has begun to stir with the fervor of the Pan-Islamic movement. But Hyde is not dead. Perpetually stoned on the local drugs, scared to death, and isolated in Soviet territory, he is running for his life with a gang of insurgents when he becomes hidden witness to a horrifying and utterly confusing incident. Hyde watches a clutch of KGB officers and a high-ranking CIA operative use an American attack drone to destroy the airliner carrying the Soviet first lady on a mission of conciliation to the Muslims. Harrell, the CIA agent, discovers Hyde's presence, and the chase is on. Meanwhile, Sir Kenneth's niece in America has disturbing news. Her lover, who claims to have discovered proof of a similar shootdown in California, has disappeared, certain that he is marked for death. When British intelligence collapses to CIA pressure and declares Hyde a rogue agent marked for execution, Hyde, aided by Sir Kenneth, flees to the US, where he hooks up with the niece and begins a private war on Harrell, Harrell's military-industrial allies, and the reactionary KGB forces who hooked up with Harrell to squelch all traces of perestroika. The exciting and exhausting chases, near escapes, and bureaucratic battles are so well done that one is perfectly willing to swallow some rather astounding coincidences. Aubrey and Hyde wear well.