English-speaking KGB agent Bucharensky--code-named ""Kyril""--is given a top-secret mission by the old, iii head of the KGB: there's an English mole somewhere in the KGB hierarchy, you see, and Bucharensky is supposed to help shake him up and expose him . . . by pretending to defect to England, by pretending to know the mole's identity, and by meeting up with a Russian spy in England named Loshkevoi (who might really know the mole's identity!). Understandably, then, there are lots of people out to get Bucharensky once the news gets out that he's on his way West via Athens and Brussels. The mole in Moscow dispatches an assassin, of course. British Intelligence also want to get their hands on Bucharensky--to prevent him from spilling his supposed knowledge of their spy secret. But first-novelist Trenhaile has a neat additional twist here: the British agent who's put in charge of laying a trap for Bucharensky in England (via his old English girlfriend and Loshkevoi) is himself a KGB double-agent! So he has his own reasons for wanting Bucharensky--who might know his true allegiance--out of the way before he's interrogated by the British. A neat spy/counter-spy setup, in short: lacking a fully engaging hero, slightly belabored (many scenes of maneuvering back in Moscow), but nicely twisted--as Bucharensky defends himself, wreaks vengeance (his girlfriend is killed), and finally arrives at that illuminating showdown with the now-imprisoned Loshkevoi.