Petievich, once the inventive schemer of To Live and Die in L. A., seems to have settled into a groove of actioners with Earth Angels (1989)--and now, this kinetic, overtired saga of a Secret Service bodyguard who gets involved with the President's mistress. When his colleague Ray Stryker's apparent suicide right in the White House prompts a hush-hush investigation and a Syrian defector fingers Stryker as a mole, presidential bodyguard Jack Powers is detailed to tail intelligence officer Marilyn Kasindorf, who just may have been Stryker's accomplice--in between her Camp David assignations with the President. Jack follows Marilyn to Germany, but after she spots him and suggests they share dinner, drinks, dancing, and bed, she takes off for Syria, leaving him holding the bag--and minus his job, when the furious President bars him from the White House detail and his boss hangs him out to dry. But Jack and his partner Ken Landry suspect there's more going on--like a CIA plot to undermine the President, whose reelection plans are already shaky (those Syrians again), by incriminating Marilyn; and when Jack follows Marilyn's trail back to Germany, she turns out not to be Marilyn at all, but a flight attendant who doubled for her while somebody faked her defection. And who could that somebody be? Readers who haven't read a spy novel since E. Phillips Oppenheim will never guess. Lots of action, along with characters who can penetrate to the truth by looking each other in the eye. Already sold to Hollywood for a Ridley Scott film, which is about right.