A tighter novel than her first, Never Give the Heart (1951), this still has the feverish Fitzgerald touch in its pursuit of human emotions-failures- and cross purposes- all intensified by the atmosphere of wartime Algiers and the preparations for the Allied offensive. From the agent training and briefing base, volunteers are sent to jump in occupied France, to keep contact, to create cells and to report- until their death or their return. Effective ""Ajax"", Charles Holcomb, is recalled, fights his love for popular Madeleine Benton, and determines to return to find his vanished radio operator and the others of his crew. Boss man Bion determines Holcomb is to head up the new mission ""Sweetpea"", watches the effects of Maddie and Holcomb's affair, and sweats out the destinies of his other operators. While young, selfish Harrison Carter tries to find the reasons for her miseries, along with the other American civilian women adrift in a world without time or morals. Maddie at last writes her husband, Josh, out in the Pacific, of her decision to divorce him for Holcomb, watches Holcomb off to do his jump -- and waits for word of his safety. With the invasion and Marseilles liberated, Maddie and Harrison report there without orders- Maddie to learn of Holcomb's death and Harrison to find in Bion some answers to her destroying questions. Fine spun and fine drawn, this makes its account of strained days and nights, tempers and emotions, human and romantic relationships, sometimes positive, sometimes petulant, and always plausible. More mature than most fiction for women.