SEVEN STEPS TO TREASON by Michael Hartland


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Bill Cable, UK Ambassador to UN headquarters in Vienna, is being doubly blackmailed by Soviet agents--who demand information about an upcoming British mission code-named ""Sobieski."" First of all, the USSR still has a paper that Cable signed back in 1972 when he was a prisoner in Hanoi, a paper suggesting that Cable betrayed a top double-agent for Britain. (Actually, as we learn in flashback, Cable didn't betray the agent--just the opposite-but he did lie about the paper to his British superiors.) Secondly, the Soviets have kidnapped Cable's beloved daughter Sarah, framing her for heroin-smuggling in Hungary; she'll be tried, perhaps even executed, unless Cable cooperates. (Since the death of daughter Lucy and divorce, Sarah is all Cable has.) So: will the Ambassador become a traitor--or will he report the Soviet approaches to his former spy-boss, Sir David Nairn (Down Among the Dead Men)? Well, eventually, he does Tell All to Sir David, who arranges for Cable to give the Russians false data bout ""Sobieski""--rebel-doings in Poland. Sir D. also arranges for Sarah to be rescued by the SAS. But the failure, nonetheless, of ""Sobieski"" suggests that there's a traitor at work in Cable's circle--perhaps his Israeli mistress Naomi. So Cable turns sleuth, journeying to Israel (and into WW II history) to figure out the identity of the double-agent codenamed ""Plato."" Less ambitious and inventive than Hartland's Down Among the Dead Men (1983), but similarly ragged: again, just-passable espionage diversion, with ill-coordinated plotting and spindly characters.

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 1984
Publisher: Macmillan