A strange romance and an earthquake in Turkey are the ingredients of this awkward but curiously realistic novel. Virginia is a wealthy archaeologist, escaping from the memory of her husband's death by digging among Hittite ruins. Her expedition is delayed, and in the interim, she drifts into an affair with a mysterious, passionate Kurd, named Dursun. She is warned against him by an American, Nick Meldrum, who is also in love with her. A terrible earthquake flattens the town. In its nightmare aftermath, the three rescue each other and other victims, but Dursun is revealed as having robbed a bank for political funds and is killed by the police. A slight woodenness in the characterizations, the sunlit, drugged landscape, and the matter-of-fact reportage on the appalling earthquake, have the odd effect of seeming to tell about something which actually happened. If this is not precisely a good novel, it is peculiarly compelling. Jon Cleary is the author of several other novels, most recent among them A Flight of Chariots (p. 887, 1963).