A sequel to The Defector (1981)--which left British Intelligence agent Davina Graham cheated of wedded bliss by the KGB assassination of her defector/lover. So now Davina, detesting SIS for the lax security that allowed her intended to be killed, refuses to come back to work. . . until she's offered an opportunity to take revenge on Borisov, the KGB assassin. Borisov, it seems, may be involved in a mysterious new scandal: a charge of Soviet spying brought against British-born White House adviser Edward Fleming--by his wife Elizabeth! Why has Liz made this accusation? Is it true? Those are the questions for Davina, who happens to be a years-ago school chum of Elizabeth's; so off she goes to Washington, where she befriends alcoholic Liz (nearly unrecognizable as her old pal). And meanwhile there's fragmented action involving London spies, Borisov at the Kremlin, KGB agents in D.C., the CIA, Fleming--and MI6 agent Colin Lomax, who eventually helps Davina to rediscover love while uncovering Borisov's ""Operation Plumed Serpent"" and the secrets in the Flemings' murky past. Not quite as focused or involving as The Defector--with lots of farfetched switcheroo plotting--but, again, solid and classy entertainment in the crisper-than-MacInnes manner, enhanced by some exotic Mexican locales.