Alex Quintain, meek and lowly systems analyst for a huge investment firm (and borderline paranoid-schizophrenic), is suddenly boosted into a plush high-level office, seduced by the Boss's beautiful wife, and given a hush-hush program to run through the computer. Paranoia flowers. He rinds he's been used to skim off big bucks into an unknown account. Stumbling through plots and counterplots, Alex realizes the investment firm's a front for an international assassination network, and that he, for his supposed embezzlement, is their number one target. Lucky for him his paranoia induces sudden violent rages. Before you know it, bodies are piling up like cordwood, and Alex is in a duel to the death with the most skilled assassin in the world. Seven of Swords, Harrington's last, was a warm-up exercise--here he has hit his twisty, weirdly entertaining stride.