In this new addition to the highly acclaimed Charlie Muffin spy series, Brian Freemantle's scruffy hero becomes entangled in the high-stakes complexities of a KGB intelligence-gathering mission. As the Soviet Union is about to come apart, Moscow focuses its attention on one goal: not only to match but beat the American development of the Star Wars Defense Program and prove yet again that the Soviet Union is the leader in space exploration. Meanwhile, abrasive and unwelcome on his own side, Charlie is off the active British roster and relegated to the chores of a low-grade clerk. It's just such a chore that gets him back in action after he unwittingly stumbles onto a British traitor involved in the Kremlin's scheme. Moscow uses this coincidence to plan Charlie's permanent removal, using Natalia Fedova, Charlie's former lover and KGB debriefer, as the bait to bring about Charlie's destruction. Never has Freemantle plotted more skillfully than in this clever, historical spy thriller. Every character is real, every twist and turn of the plot a surprise, every detail of the sophisticated world of espionage credible and convincing.