cover image Paramour


Gerald Petievich, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-525-93364-9

One major, perhaps fatal flaw mars this otherwise engrossing story about espionage and political maneuvering during the 1996 presidential campaign. Readers will guess early on that Secret Service agent Jack Powers is being set up, a possibility that escapes him until this thriller's conclusion. The murder of a fellow agent in the White House is made to look like a suicide. After Powers interviews a defecting Syrian colonel, who implicates the dead agent as a spy, he is asked to tail a beautiful CIA operative whose government ID was found in the dead man's room and who is reportedly having an affair with the President (currently trailing in a tough reelection campaign). Powers follows her to Germany, where they become romantically involved; she then gives him the slip and is reported as having defected to Syria. Disgraced, Powers must resign from the Secret Service, but when another agent learns that more is going on than appears on the surface, he and Powers set out to make things right. Petievich ( To Live and Die in L.A. ), a former Secret Service agent, was a bodyguard for four presidents. (Oct.)