You know this checkpoint only too well -- not only physically situated between East-West Berlin but also low-profiling the kind of disconsolate courage the title has implied. Particularly that of the C.I.A.'s Brian Colman, who has used one woman to get at Webber, alias Fischer, who in turn will enable him to get at one of his own -- Mankin, in East German hands. At the more active onset, Colman kills Webber-Fischer, and then retrieves his widow with whom he falls more or less in love before he assures her safe exit while giving up his own to salvage Mankin. Mr. West's story per se is slowed by a fair amount of talk about those too fatal ends justifying the means and all in all, like Colman, it's somewhere in the middle.