From the best-selling author of Old Boys and The Last Supper comes this classic espionage novel featuring clandestine literature and duplicitous love in the shadow of Cold War Europe. A nervous courier delivers the handwritten manuscript of a dissident Russian novel to Paul Christopher early one morning in West Berlin. Minutes after the handoff, the courier's spine is neatly snapped by an impact with a passing black sedan. Meanwhile in Rome, Christopher's wife Cathy takes a famous film director as a lover to stir her husband out of the stoicism that defines his personality. These two seemingly discreet events set in motion a spiral of operational and personal intrigue that leads Christopher from the cafés of old Europe to the front lines of the Cold War in the Congo as he secretly arranges the publication of a novel that could bring the Soviet system to its knees as he races to identify the leak that compromised his messenger, and possibly the entire mission.