13th Directorate

Barry Chubin, Author
Barry Chubin, Author Putnam Publishing Group $19.95 (351p) ISBN 978-0-399-13400-5
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
A compelling second novel from the author of The Feet of a Snake , this hi-tech espionage thriller hurtles from the glitzy night life of St. Moritz to the inner sanctums of Soviet intelligence. A Kremlin plot to subvert America's political system gives the book its title; it also refers to a the former British spy and aging turncoat Kim Philby, who surfaced in Moscow after his defection (and whose recent death makes this story a bit obsolete). As a new regime in the U.S.S.R. moves to reform its domestic programs, attempts are made to cancel Philby's directorate, a cold war ploy to secretly influence U.S. elections. The sudden defection of a Soviet agent reveals to the Pentagon that Allen Sanford, probable candidate for president, has indeed been bought and paid for by the Soviets. To head off Sanford's candidacy, American operative Nick Delan is ordered home from a plush assignment in Europe. Coincidentally, Clio Bragana, the object of his amorous intentions, secures a modeling job in California, discomfiting Delan, who finds little time for romance in pursuing his covert mission. The suspense level is kept high as Delan activates mind-boggling new espionage devices while attempting to further his relationship with Bragana. Chubin draws his characters tightly, vivifying them with strong dialogue, and though the ending may come as no surprise, the story gives the reader a fast and exciting ride. (September)
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