An above-average Dewhurst (A Nice Little Business, etc.) tells the story of Olga, Russian Ã‰migrÃ‰ wife of engineer Henry Trent, who'd almost forgotten the price of her exodus from Russia ten years before. Now, with an implied threat against her children as backup, she's called upon to fulfill that long-ago contract with an assassination using her sharpshooting skills. Trying to hide panic and despair from Henry, good neighbor Pam, and housekeeper Mrs. Metcalfe, Olga agonizes at length, deciding finally to confide in family friend Hugo Stratton, a womanizing bachelor. When she arrives at his apartment, she finds him shot to death. Claiming guilt for Stratton's murder as an alternative to the suicide she'd contemplated, Olga is arrested and jailed. But there are other forces at work here--and a few surprising twists and turns--before her life gets back on track. Slow and wordy as it explores Olga's anguish at the start, but then plot and pace quicken to produce an absorbing, mostly satisfying entertainment--an upper in the author's uneven production.