Alfred Baum, the estimable suburbanite detective who appeared in Beaver to Fox (1986), returns to crack a coalition of French ultra-rightists and Palestinian terrorists and foil their plans for nuclear blackmail. M. Baum's troubles begin when a well-trained terrorist squad from an organization called ""Chatila"" pulls off a perfectly planned hit on a party of Israelis, in Paris for the international air-show. The attack worked because someone treacherously managed to pull the police from the scene. Now Chatila is about to steal a couple of nuclear warheads from the French Army. Baum and Shayeh Ben Tov--Baum's furious friend at Mossad--agree that there is a rat somewhere in French intelligence. They also agree that they will have to work together secretly to foil the nuclear kidnapping, since Ben Toy is saddled with an incompetent boss and Baum cannot trust more than two people in France. Their secret weapon in the battle to defang Chatila is Essat, Ben Toy's double-agent in the organization. Tearing himself away from his wife's superb cooking and abandoning for the moment his beloved long-haired cats, the relentless Baum follows the faintest of trails into the corrupt heart of the French Army. In the meantime, Ben Toy scrambles to protect Essat, whose cover has crumbled, manipulates the fractious Israeli cabinet, and tears the country apart trying to find Chatila's nukes. Intense and intelligent thriller. Baum is formidable.