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A French intelligence agent becomes embroiled in the Cold War politics first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missle Crisis, and then back to France to break up an international Russian spy ring.

1962. While vacationing in Copenhagen, KGB official Boris Kusenov, his wife and their daughter are able to defect to the west with prearranged assistance from the US authorities, the operation led by CIA agent Mike Nordstrom, although the defection is not without incident. Kusenov, whose case file at the KGB was primarily NATO, is running away from the Soviets more than he is running toward western ideals, and as such is still reluctant to divulge any Soviet secrets. One of the things he does divulge to Nordstrom and the Americans is that the Soviets are building up military force in Cuba of an unknown nature. Nordstrom knows that the US cannot effectively work on this file because of the strained relationship between the US and Cuba that has thus far culminated with the Bay of Pigs incident. As such, Nordstrom asks his old friend, French intelligence agent André Devereaux whose cover is as a commercial attaché, to pursue this matter on the US's behalf, albeit without it being officially on the books as a French operation. Devereaux agrees if only because of his own intel as to Kusenov's defection, and further intel he is able to get from one of his Franco-American sources as to Cuba. It, however, places a strain on his marriage as it will eventually take him back to Cuba to work with Juanita de Cordoba, the widow of a hero of the Castro-led revolution, and now a lead figure in the anti-Castro underground. Devereaux's wife, Nicole, surmises correctly that Juanita is her husband's mistress, an accusation he denies. Beyond being able to get the necessary information in Cuba which places Devereaux, Juanita and her team's lives in danger, Devereaux may have further problems if Kusenov is forthright in his information on a covert operation code named Topaz.


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