Not so timely a theme nor so surely popular a one as was his LITTLE CAESAR, but in substance and form, the best book he has done. The theme is -- to this reader at any rate -- a new one in fiction, -- dog racing. Dark Hazard is a champion and unwittingly responsible for smashing the marriage of Jim Turner, gambler, and his wife, a ""safety first"" person with a strong sense of possession. Uprooted from Chicago, transplanted to California, deprived of her familiar contacts and thrust into the aura of the race tracks and gambling dens, she finally decides to seek security for herself and her small son, and leaves her husband. His job in life is gambling -- cards, horses, dogs, life itself, and his passion is centered on Dark Hazard. Finally, down and out, he returns to his wife, but the reunion fails when he finds the dog, also a down and outer, and grooms him back to form. Then the urge is too much for him, and using a suspicion of his wife's infidelity as an excuse, he departs for the race tracks again. A good yarn, well told, and if the picture of the practice of dog racing is seen through rose colored spectacles, that makes the story more likely to succeed than otherwise. A man's book, perhaps, rather than a woman's. Runner up for the Harper prize.