When Valerie Frolich, daughter of Now Jersey's senior Senator, is found dead in Georgetown's C & O canal, investigative reporter Joe Potamos gets right to work--which consists largely of interviewing the dead girl's classmates at Georgetown U., where she was a journalism major. The lines of inquiry? First: Valerie's many lovers--including, it appears, renowned columnist George Alfred Bowen (the nasty nemesis of Potamos' own journalism career). And then: the shadowy doings of Valerie's father--who has, along with Bowen and a real-estate tycoon, been the driving force behind the building of a new Georgetown high-rise. . .whose top floors can be used to spy on the nearby Soviet Embassy! Almost from the beginning, then, despite lots of red herrings (the Senator's adulteries, for instance), it's pretty clear that a powerful right-wing conspiracy is the primary culprit here--especially when one of Valerie's classmates, an over-ambitious sort, also turns up dead after trying to market Valerie's diaries. But, if short on mystery, Truman's latest government-thriller keeps the action reasonably lively--as Potatoes finds himself threatened, fired, and nearly murdered (several times). . .before he manages to catch the conspirators red-handed. Filled out with nice romance (Potamos woos a no-nonsense pianist) and musings on journalism ethics: likable, serviceable entertainment, sharper and sleeker than previous Truman efforts, though again saddled with a thinly far-fetched plot.