Winston Graham, who has alternated some superior suspense stories with his Cornwall tetralogy, is again at his best in this form of entertainment- a drama which is sybilline and svelte. The suicide of Grevil Turner in Holland is bitter- and unbelievable to his younger brother Philip and his attempt to learn the truth behind Grevil's death. The knownidentity but not the whereabouts of a dubious character- Buckingham- who had been digging with Grevil in Java, is the main lead which takes Philip from London to Holland and finally to Italy. There he finds Leonie who had known Grevil and Buckingham too. Leonie's involvement with the man he wrongly suspects to be Buckingham at first blinds him to the real identity of the man he seeks; the knowledge that Buckingham had duped Grevil, and smuggled opium through him, aggravates the desire for revenge- and there is an ugly fight- first at sea, then in a church; but finally he can reconcile the motivation behind his brother's death and straighten out his own future with Leonie... Along with the romance here, the conflict- in which Philip tussles with certain fixed moralities, gives this a certain substance, and it is at all times a most attractive distraction.