A fairly mundane but reasonably persuasive near-future thriller--inspired by the real-life incident of flight KAL 007, shot down by the Russians in 1983. In 1993, another civilian air liner is missing, presumed shot down, again over Kamchatka: the plane was purposefully off-course in order to drop an ocean-bed monitor designed to eavesdrop on Russian naval comings and goings. But now the monitor is in danger of falling into Russian hands--so the super-secret INTEL-5 agency digs out and dispatches two experienced, semi-retired agents, Pete Shafer and Bill Murphy (along with tail, stunning Sheena and big, dour Harris). They battle the usual difficulties--severe weather, patrolling Russians, a spy in their midst, crippling injuries and wounds--before discovering the monitor in shallow water. Then Shafer sees that the monitor is actually a nuclear bomb. . .which Murphy proceeds to arm! (He's a member of a hawkish inner cadre which plans to explode the bomb and launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike.) But when Harris--the mole!--summons a squad of Russian frogmen, Murphy is mortally wounded and comes to his senses at last: he holds off the Russians. . . while Shafer disarms and disposes of the bomb. Brisk action, mild suspense, twisty but unsurprising plotting: a simpleminded but serviceable debut.