Despite the minor involvement of Supt. ""Badger"" Brock of Melford, this is far more a routine spy-chaser than a mystery--and, in fact, it features the rather colorless British Intelligence chief Ducane, who appeared in such other Bingham spy-fests as God's Defector, The Double Agent, and Vulture in the Sun. Ducane's latest operation: the defection of Soviet diplomat/spy Alexi Schorin--a GRU agent who has been feeding info to the British (motivated by hatred of the rival KGB agency) and who now, urged on by lover Alice Robins, opts for full defection. So, for their own protection, Alexi and Alice are shuttled off to an inn in little Melford--but they are nonetheless in danger from all sides. Slimy, greedy reporter Sam Letts (Alice's old flame) threatens to blow the couple's cover . . . and is half-accidentally killed by Alexi. The KGB are after Alexi, kidnapping Alice in order to apply pressure. And the British keep interrogating Alexi about the identity of other GRU agents in England. True, Supt. Brock appears here and there--investigating Letts' death, protecting Alice, musing on Alexi's predicament. But this is a limp, meandering hybrid overall--likely to please espionage fans only slightly, mystery buffs not at all.