The Mafia takes on a passel of Mideast terrorists and shows the US government just the way to handle pesky third-world varmints in this Washingtonian shoot-'em-up from the author of Twilight Child, War of the Roses and Random Hearts. When a supposedly routine bombing and kidnapping goes awry outside the Cairo Museum, Ahmed Safari, pitiless Palestinian terrorist and pederast, finds himself holding Maria Michaels and her son Joey instead of the Assistant Secretary of State he was hoping to bag. Ahmed thinks that he's got just the ordinary wife and son of an ordinary Egyptologist, but Maria is actually the daughter of Salvatore Padronelli, the modest but supremely powerful ""Padre,"" head of Manhattan's toughest Mafia family and a man who dearly loves his daughter and grandson. So when Salvatore finds out what Ahmed's been up to, you can bet your homemade wine he's not at all happy. In the meantime, our President, trapped by post-Vietnam and post-Watergate laws and morality, is unable to do a thing to spring Maria and Joey or any of the other hostages accumulated by various terrorist factions. But Papa Padronelli isn't bound by pussyfooting laws and conventions, and he wants his daughter back right now. The solution? Kidnap the President at a state dinner and hold him hostage in his own quarters until he promises to forget those durned laws and turn the CIA loose to do the job God meant it to do. The Mafia's too warm and cuddly and the government types are too wimpy, but the terrorists are suitably loathesome, the mildly tense plot timely.