Was it George Stephanopoulos or Mandy Grunwald? A Clinton aide or a journalist with remarkably good sources? The interest surrounding Primary Colors does not centre on whether it is a great addition to the contemporary American canon, but on who wrote it. The author, for reasons of modesty, fear, or in the hope that it might generate value-added publicity, has preferred to remain anonymous. The dust kicked up by the publication of Primary Colors, credited only to Anonymous and with a picture of a jackass on its cover - read into that what you will - is resulting in coughs and splutters throughout America. Every aide, consultant and adviser, every journalist who was ever close to President Clinton, is pointing a finger. The latest betting is on Newsweek senior editor Joe Klein, who instantly threw his hands up in a protestation of innocence. His name entered the frame after computer analysis showed his style and that of the book's author had similarities. A fondness of dashes, for instance. A tendency to add extra letters to words, as in fizzz! Clinton, meanwhile, is said to find it all rather amusing, and has promised to read the book as soon as he can make time. What he will find is a well-written roman a clef about a liberal Southern Governor with an eye for the ladies. There's no messing in Primary Colors. In chapter two Governor Jack Stanton - it even sounds like Bill Clinton - emerges from his hotel bedroom with a floozy. Soon afterwards we are introduced to Cashmere McLeod, a caricature of Mr Clinton's alleged lover, Gennifer Flowers. Then there's Susan, the wife. A sassy lady from law school who runs her husband's Primary campaign with an iron fist and does not suffer fools gladly. When women trouble rumours first surface, she slaps Stanton across the face, as startled aides look on, then appears on prime-time television, holding his hand and admonishing those who are interested only in digging up dirt: 'This man will wake up every morning and bust his butt for America.' In the scramble to unmask the Pimpernel, the spotlight has fallen on White House heartthrob Stephanopoulos because he was closer to the campaign than anyone except the Clintons themselves. There seem to be too many accurate details in the book for even the most tenacious and well-connected journalist to have gathered. The fact that Clinton's aides take a break to see Wayne's World at a local cinema, that Stanton eats too many doughnuts, and that one of his favourite records is Ray Charles Sings Country And Western (Volume One). Primary Colors is narrated by a carbon copy of Stephanopoulos, except that he is black, a young aide called Henry. Surprisingly - and there is no evidence to suggest this is from real life - Henry ends up in bed at one point doing 'campaign sex' with Stanton's wife. Campaign sex is, indeed, one of the book's minor themes. The major theme is that politics is a shocking business. Primary Colors is full of people doing unto others as they would never have done unto themselves. Scandal follows Stanton like a shadow, as it did with Clinton. After a brutal telephone debate an opposing candidate has a heart attack. Stanton is accused of baiting him. A young black girl from the Governor's home town, alleges that Stanton is the father of her unborn child. Stanton denies it, but then he would, wouldn't he? This particular scandal is kept from the press, leaving some pundits wondering whether or not it really happened to Clinton. Primary Colors is a rabid book, full of salaciousness and scandal. This is not to say it is shallow or crass, just that it reflects the world it portrays. No one has yet invented a better word for a book like this than 'unputdownable'.