The investigation of a suicide in present-day London uncovers a story of heroism and betrayal in Nazi-occupied France; by the author of The Judas Factor, Children of the Tender Years, and Shadow of Shadows. British intelligence operator Nicholas Bailey's follow-up of a possible incident of espionage turns tragic when James Walters--the mousy little man with the Russian connections--slips away from Bailey's interview and slashes his own throat. Bailey has precious few clues to go on when he tries to find out why the man would do such a ghastly thing. Walters' life was almost sterile: a colorless apartment; a small, well-run business; and no family. But his passport has some entry stamps that lead Bailey to France--where he unearths the story of Captain Charles Parker, an Anglo-French WW II agent in Winston Churchill's Special Operations Executive. Parker parachuted into Nazi-held France and organized local resistance operations into an effective insurgent force, juggling their conflicting communist and Gaullist loyalties while pressuring the fighters to accept British leadership and planning. His emotional isolation was cracked by a young woman member of the resistance whom he married just before he was captured by the Nazis--thanks to the treachery of one of Parker's own troops, Bailey finds Parker's widow and her beguiling daughter still in France and discovers in them the links to the sad little man in London. A fine job. Tight, professional, and rather moving.