A first novel, which has a sure touch, and achieves considerable momentum as it concentrates- through one incident, the moral, rather than the physical, damage of war, the conflict between political attitudes and human responses. This is the story of Roger Chandler, an American, who becomes the special custodian of Mercanton, a Frenchman who had become- rather innocently- a radio operative for Vichy and the Germans. Attracted by the dignity of Mercanton, the weeks of living with his family increase Chandler's sympathy, protectiveness for the man who, once Chandler has used him to contact the Germans, will be killed. Mercanton, sure that his work for the Americans will exonerate his record, does a solo in courage and traps a whole German ring, and cannot believe Chandler when he assures him that this will count for nothing. Chandler tries to persuade Mercanton to escape, but Mercanton refuses- knowing this will disgrace his family, and Chandler, with no alternative, assumes the full responsibility and guilt- and kills him... A tense, often bitter, often affecting, opposition of ethics and reality.