A 1978 subversion of the highest caliber in the form of a series of diplomatic misdirection plays. A Czech-reared dynamo and the President's Assistant for Foreign Affairs, Mitch Hovac has supplanted the Secy. of State even before the stalemate of the U.S.-involved Middle East war. Meanwhile, the Kissinger-like global whirling dervish's old grad-school roomie, Stuart Leland, has to wonder why he's being phased out of the State Dept. after two decades of service. The Near Eastern Affairs section head becomes even more suspicious after his home is ransacked and he's run off the road. Could someone have seen a copy of his top-secret analysis of Hovac's initial Peace Agreement? -- a treaty which would have proved a ""tremendous historical victory"" for the Russians had it not been rejected by the Arabs and discredited by an unknown source in the government. Aided by his right hand man at DUS, Leland spends months going over all of his country's major international negotiations of the past two years. His finding -- that ""U.S. foreign policy has been carefully manipulated to advance Soviet ends"" -- becomes even more inescapable in the light of some earlier tapes revealing Mitch's Leninist leanings. The reams and reels of circumstantial evidence are taken to the FBI. Will anyone believe that the Machiavellian peacemaker -- the man the president wants to succeed him -- is committing ever-so-clever treason? Obtaining direct proof poses even more of a problem -- but then you'll no doubt have been hooked way back. Subtle perfidy suspensefully rigged to keep you on edge.