Mr. Buckley's first novel takes place under not so deep CIA cover in the '50's and it is an unassailable entertainment which tells an original story with suave good humor. Blackford Oakes, war veteran at Yale, is recruited by his oldest friend Anthony Trust (who reads James Burnham) to join a highly special subsidiary of the company. Oakes knows Trust from England where they both went to the same public school (present and past are in smooth sync) and where Trust had been top boy, while Blacky left with a birch-rodded backside. Now Blacky is sent to England and, as one of Queen "Caroline's" proteges, he is literally at her Majesty's service. At this juncture, he rightly suspects that Peregrine Kirk, once a great pilot, is an NKVD contact. Blacky is thereby responsible for saving the Queen and his own skin (he had become increasingly expendable without realizing it) after exposing and eliminating Kirk, his opposite number. Don't go Hunting around for other affiliations (speculate if you will why Blacky's girl Sally is sexily "prehensile") and take it as is--suede-gloved intrigue.