Tiebreaker

Jack M. Bickham, Author Tor Books $0 (314p) ISBN 978-0-312-93144-5
An aging tennis pro who's done a few jobs for the CIA in the past is dragooned into one more operation in this promising first entry in Bickman's ( Day Seven ) new mystery series. Former champion Brad Smith is asked to go to Yugoslavia to aid the defection attempt of top woman player Danisa Lechova. Pretending to be a magazine writer covering an international tennis match in Belgrade, he makes contact with Danisa, gains her confidence and falls in love with her, despite opposition from her jealous coach and stern parents and further complications from a sister who is a fervent Communist. Meanwhile, other wheels are turning. Hiding from the FBI, the CIA and the KGB in the north central U.S. and in Canada is top KGB agent Dominic Partek, waiting for the CIA to deliver on a promise before he defects to the West with a trove of valuable information. When Smith's CIA contact disappears and Danisa's escape attempt fails, Smith concludes he's been set up and must take matters in his own hands. Bickman offers a keen-eyed view of life on the tennis circuit, using real players in bit parts and conveying the pressure and sense of urgency of big-time play. ( June )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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