The title is from an old nursery rhyme, but this is a very adult, contemporary in a sense fortuitously timely) story which deals with the power elite and corruption in high places. While C.P. Snow has walked through the same corridors with quiet earnestness, Kennaway is a far more sophisticated witness of betrayals, of compromise, and of the equivocal lesson experience teaches-- ""marrying the old ideals nd necessities"". In particular this concerns one J.T. Sarson, a director of the Bank of England, and his personal profit-taking on a deal involving the devaluation of the eutschmark. Working under him are two liberal young men with ""guilty sociological consciences, Oxford accents and economic theorists' doubtful rules of thumb""- his on-in-law, Alisdair, and Andrew Vass. And then there's Stella Vass, whose marriage to the pinkcheeked, gutless Andrew makes her susceptible to Sarson, arrogant, charming assailably virile, whom she at first resists, then indulges. And, with all the unhappy consequences to follow, only Sarson remains untouched... Mr. Kennaway, as already established (Household Ghosts; Tunes of Glory), is an assured young writer whose everness with issues and people never forfeits sympathy. It is a knowledgeably attractive book, whether dealing with the abstraction of integrity or the very real, hameleon charms of those involved- particularly Stella Vass.