Bacteriological warfare and a certain world-weariness add texture to this CIA suspense--but ultimately the usual double-crosses and shoot-out melodramatics swamp the flickers of originality. Agent Richard Allenford is assigned to assist Thompson Lytton--who happens to be the rival of Allenford's late boss--in determining just what Colonel Qaddafi, Libya's fanatical leader, is up to when threatening to wipe out the entire Israeli nation without injuring its property. Allenford, though aware of hostility from Lytton, does his best: he mobilizes an enormous satellite recon activity and uncovers a leakproof plot clearly showing the Libyans engaging in bacteriological warfare and buying their culture strains from a small band of German scientists. But before the novel is half over, Allenford is certain that his own new boss is one of the conspirators behind the forthcoming Libyan terrorist strike. After all, Lytton is arranging secret meetings--and then another agent gets assassinated (probably in mistaken lieu of Allenford). Also, along the way, Allenford falls in love with beautiful double-agent Jeanne-Marie, who lives on a motorcycle. . . . The office scenes here have unusual credibility (O'Neil is a former D.C. government worker), and there's more than a hint of promise. But once the Kalishnakov submachine guns and betrayal clichâ€šs come into play, this suspense debut quickly joins the run-of-the-CIA-mill.