The latest entry in Truman's uneven but immensely popular series of D.C. mysteries starts with an unusually strong situation: Air Force J.D./chopper pilot Major Margit Falk is assigned over her protests to defend Sgt. Robert Cobol on a charge of killing weapons-researcher Dr. Richard Joycelyn. Even as Margit, with the help of her old mentor Mackensie Smith, reluctantly digs into allegations of a homosexual relationship between the two, we already know, from a series of dire hints, that the murder was really triggered by an unnamed Middle Eastern tyrant's acquisition of a nuclear bomb. Once Cobol's found dead in his cell, the only question left is how high the coverup reaches. The anemic mystery is partly redeemed by an engaging heroine and the usual inside dope about how many miles of telephone cable are inside the Pentagon.