“Engaging, engrossing, and realistic espionage novel.”
“Compelling, page after page.”
An intricate thriller of espionage and foreign intrigue, the novel turns on a Cypriot hit man hired by the CIA.
1974 – Charged by the Justice Department and the FBI with espionage and facing arrest in Washington, D.C., the CIA intervenes and allows the Soviets to recall Marina Kovalev known as Brenda Farber, a Soviet mole in order to avoid the embarrassment of revealing to the world that the U.S. had been duped. Now the CIA sets in motion a covert action to board the vessel returning her to the Soviet Union at its final port of call in Famagusta, Cyprus and there deal with her once and for all.
As the Agency plots the slow progress of the freighter across the Atlantic and into the Eastern Mediterranean the ouzo flows and the cigarette smoke swirls in the Constantia Taverna in Famagusta. There the Agency’s hired Cypriot assassin Georgios Spyrou and his former sidekick, Manos Pavlou, who wants in on the action, debate the risks of the assignment and how best to carry it out.
On the ground for the CIA is Orville Middleton, an officer under non official cover who recruits Spyrou, a former British MI6 hit man .
However an hour away, in the capital city of Nicosia, and behind the closed doors of the Soviet Embassy, countermeasures are being put into play by the KGB Rezident. Suspecting the Americans intend to somehow double-cross them Kovalev is secreted off the freighter in Istanbul and flown home.
But when Spyrou and Pavlou finally board the Soviet bulk freighter Komsomolets Smolensk in Famagusta they are ambushed by the forewarned crew and overpowered. From Moscow to the KGB Rezidentura comes instructions the surviving Cypriot hit man is to be transported to the Soviet Union for interrogation.
Spyrou is jailed aboard the Nikolayev, an 8,500-ton Kara-class large anti-submarine warfare ship of the Soviet Navy’s Black Sea Fleet and brought to Novorossiysk. There, in the naval base town on the Black Sea, a KGB interrogator awaits. He has orders to break the Cypriot and learn about the plot while awaiting instructions from Moscow. (455 pages)