Small scale international intrigue becomes part of Rupert Quinn's life when, escaping his humdrum life as a journalist in Northern England, he picks up a job as a guide for tours out of Morocco, by coach over the Atlas Mountains. Troubles from French versus Nationalist government hit out of Algeria, from authentic tourists and others of doubtful intent, from his attraction to Leila Soissons whose patriotism is a threat - and Quinn is in the middle...of the Sahara and lost. Leila's FLN allegiance, gun and ammunition running, and the coach line's owner in business for the cash benefits, keep Quinn moving until a last attack by the paras whose tortures (with assorted atrocities on both sides) force Leila to betrayal. Quinn helps her evade fellow-loyalists -- now enemies, and her murder sets him on a vengeance trail. This leads, for a finale at Etna, via Rome, to a showdown. A first novel, imported, this offers unsolicited brutality -- and sex -- and steps swiftly. Strong stomach department.