A speculative development of the MacLean case stresses as much the homosexual as the misguided political leanings of the missing diplomats and is a logical successor to Rodney Garland's earlier book- The Heart In Exile. James Edmonton, a writer of indifferent achievement and anxious to get a government job, is handed a briefcase with a dossier which includes all kinds of suspect allegations. Mentioned in the dossier is one name, Eric Fontanet, a man he had known briefly at Oxford who in spite of his inversion- had established himself on the staff of the Foreign Office. Contacting Fontanet, with the dossier which alarms him, he agrees to assist him in the sudden departure for Paris with another man, who proves to be Alan Lockheed. Now anxious to clear himself, Edmonton is sent by the Intelligence to Paris in an attempt to keep Fontanet and Lockheed from going further. There he has not only the evidence of Fontanet's betrayal of his country, but also of his friend- Lockheed- as well as the confirmation of Lockheed's homosexuality which had gained ascendance in his marriage to Selina-whom Edmonton had once loved. Together with another agent, he is unable to delay the retreat behind the Iron Curtain, and he returns to England with the fuller explanation of Lockheed's defection for Selina.... A variation on a still tantalizing theme.