Emil Grass, a stone cold killer, murders a young woman in a pizza parlor and abducts her friend, Tracy Collins. Or is it really an abduction. Jack Sothern, a reporter, thinks there's more to it, and of course he's right. The McGuffin here is the diary of a former head of East Germany's State Security back in the Cold War days. The diary would be worth Big Bucks to certain parties, and Sothern believes that Tracy's mother either has seen the diary or knows where it is. The mother hates Sothern, whom she holds responsible (because of an article he wrote) for the death of her husband, an actor who defected to the USSR.
It's a lot more complicated than that, and there are so many twists and turns that I couldn't begin to enumerate them. It's all way over the top, but I didn't mind at all. It's easy to overlook implausible things when you're reading as fast as you can to see what happens next. Check it out.