Buffs of WW II's midnight commandos, British style, will find this a rigorously realistic, finely edged military suspense tale. There's no outrageous hocus pocus. The French village of Colauvin is a giant railway switching yard, ripe for sabotage should the right freight be scheduled for switching. But--just before the war, Colauvin had been hit by economic depression, and closed down. The Germans have revived its use--and only Sophie Pellusier, the thirtyish, earthy switchmaster, a woman of neutralist sympathies, knows the complete operation of the yard's dozens of cantankerous switches. She learned them on her own when the yard was dosed down. So--Sophie must be killed, especially since her fondness for a German officer is growing fast, and this murder is only part of the destruction planned--but not completely carried out--by Colonel Peter Foster's five-man suicide team of saboteurs. Author White astutely plays on our feelings--making Sophie a most engaging woman and by forever showing her to us in the fine detail of morning light on human skin, hair, and hands. But all the novel is that way, no event is forced, each person has his sheen of being. Remember those WW II British films that were triumphs of modesty? Artful, with heart.