The mask is off, and Liddy reveals himself as the most professional of all the Watergate novelists, an ingenious, likable, high-humored guy with an imagination full of glowing micro-circuits and a gift for badinage. Starting off with two especially convincing and gripping scenes--a safecracking and an autopsy--this non-Watergate thriller follows the travails of Richard Rand, a rogue CIA agent who has left the agency to go into private investment; he's a master of stock manipulations who has an X-ray sense of the market. But the CIA calls Rand back in as a temporary special agent to investigate the dealings of billionaire Gregory Ballinger, a Getty/Hughes type financial titan--and, through a fantastic investment scam, Rand suavely insinuates himself into the Ballinger circle. Soon, however, Rand finds himself working against his CIA masters: the titan is revealed to be a Soviet agent bent on taking over the U.S. steel industry, a bit of chicanery abetted by the CIA! Rand fights to prevent this scheme, aided by his friends in the Mafia and the Tongs of the Chinese underworld. Farfetched but smoothly bamboozling nonsense--and Rand's dialogue with his Chinese mistress, who is smarter than he is (and he knows it!), rivals the funniest banter in the William Powell-Myrna Loy Thin Man line of lighthearted horseplay. Unwavering entertainment for the secret-agent readership.