. . . is ex-CIA man Harry Hanan, the thirteenth Jew to receive a goel hadam note--Hebrew for ""avenger of blood."" Other recipients have tended to die suddenly, which doesn't faze Hanan unduly, since he's scheduled to check out via lung cancer momentarily anyway. But the spirit of the chase intrigues him (even cures him, miraculously), and he teams up with a Talmud scholar and with old cocker Sam Urdell to figure out some common denominator among the goel's victims. Answer (after several platters of red herring): all are descendants of--better you shouldn't know about it--Jewish white slavers who corrupted their own and made a turn-of-the-century public display of themselves in London, N.Y., and Buenos Aires. And the psycho-schizo killer? Must be a descendant of one of those fallen women, and it might just be the lubricious lovely (the goel is a goil!) who's sharing Hanan's bed. Generally superior writing, erudite allusions, and a stimulating chunk of hushed-up Jewish history (wasted) can't save a mishmash that tries to be all things to all people--Yiddish, sex, spies, X-rays, and a love-conquers-all ending that somehow strayed over from BarbaraCartland-land.