When Jeremiah Peled, Chief of Israel's Mossad intelligence, finally succeeds in killing the Arab terrorist responsible for the Munich Olympics massacre, Arafat of the PLO is mad for revenge. (The killed terrorist was like a brother to him.) Thus, he's delighted with the suggestion given to him by mad German terrorist Alfred Mueller: they will trick a naive young American Jew into taking the blame for an upcoming assassination of Pope John Paul II--who is planning to make a pilgrimage to Golgotha on Good Friday; and this ""double cross"" (God's messenger on earth killed twice, on the same spot) will turn the world completely against the Jews. So, while Mueller seduces young American Michael Gordon into being this patsyassassin, Peled and his staff try to figure out what Mueller is up to. And their work is complicated by clever Mueller's red herring: he pretends that the Good Friday assassination plans are actually aimed at Mossad's Peled himself. The windup is something of a copout, with the usual gore, falling bodies, and weaponry detail along the way. But Barak (The Enigma, etc.) writes with a certain know-how about spy operations, and the basic plot gimmick (which may offend assorted readers for assorted reasons) is strong enough to sustain a modicum of suspense throughout.