The author (Dominic Torr is a pseudonym) is a foreign service diplomat and former Intelligence Officer and he has supposedly based parts of this novel on actual experiences. And, incredible as the plot may seem, it does have a certain credibility. The setting is Paris on the eve of a major showdown in Cuba (history?). The American Embassy is sweltering under a load of top secret information concerning the United States' plan of action or reaction to the nuclear build-up. Russian agent Youri Lebedin, about to be written off to Siberia as an incompetent, accidentally discovers a way to reach this information by using blackmail as the key--the Ambassador's Assistant, a young married man, is having a homosexual affair after hours. Meanwhile, on the American Front, Counterintelligence Agent Bob Turner is working on Youri's weakness--for a lovely, colored ecdysiastic dancer. It would be impossible to verbalize briefly all the sparring and constant turns-of-events in the book. If ever the Cold War looked like a hot pretzel, it's here.