cover image Overhead


Jack M. Bickham. Tor Books, $18.95 (344pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85143-9

Bickham ( Day Seven ) expertly combines tennis, friendship, espionage and corporate malfeasance in this complexly plotted, thoroughly readable thriller. Brad Smith, ex-tennis pro and sometime CIA agent, leaves Dallas for Elk City, Mont., ostensibly to help old friend Ted Treacher open a tennis resort. In fact, Smith is expected to smoke out the deadly KGB agent known as Sylvester, with whom he has had two previous--and near fatal--encounters. Sylvester, suspected of having allies in the Air Force lab near the resort, may be on the verge of obtaining classified information. Arriving in Montana, Smith learns that the KGB agent is only one of his problems. Treacher is in deep financial trouble; the apparently half-crazed town policeman targets Smith as an enemy; and everyone seems to have ties to an old mine doubling as a holding site for toxic waste. Likable heroes, despicable villains and excellent suspense lead to a rousing, satisfying climax. (June)