cover image The Sisters

The Sisters

Robert Littell. Bantam Books, $16.95 (312pp) ISBN 978-0-553-05097-4

""The Sisters Death and Night'' is the nickname for CIA partners Francis and Carroll, an ``odd-couple'' team whose thoughts and strategic sensibilities complement each other's. Dwindling in significance in their employer's eyes, the Sisters plan a perfect crimethe assassination of a ``Prince of the Realm.'' To carry out the assignment, they secure the help of a Russian ``sleeper'' agent, by getting his former KGB instructor to betray him. When the teacher discovers what the Sisters have in mind for his former pupil, he tries to track him down and prevent the murder. While the crime and betrayals in Littell's seventh novel (after The Defection of A. J. Lewinter and The Amateur) may approximate perfection, the author employs a distanced narrative voice in relating them, thus preventing the story from achieving significant momentum. February 1