It was Carnival time in the ancient and once imperial, but now provincial and remote, city of Ravenna. It was Carnival time, and the very acme and high-tide of that season of mirth and revel. For the theory of Carnival observance is, that the life of it, unlike that of most other things and beings, is intensified with a constantly crescendo…
In what Christopher Lehmann-Haupt of The New York Times called "the plot of plots," Robert Littell has created the CIA "legends" Francis and Carroll, dubbed "The Sisters Death and Night" by their cohorts. But few know what these enigmatic and extremely dangerous operatives do. They plot-and they're plotting the perfect crime. They've located the perfect pawn-the Potter, the exiled ex-head of the KGB sleeper school-and, with artful deception, the Sisters coerce him into betraying his last and best sleeper, the man he considers his son. Once awakened, this sleeper, an assassin living secretly in the U.S., will launch a mission of death-unless the Potter, in a desperate race against time, can stop his protege from committing the Sisters' perfect and world-shattering crime.
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