Richly caparisoned and with a big cast of characters, this new novel of Miss Ekert-Rothloz shifts back and forth from London to Stockholm to Bangkok, to Paris, capturing the flavor of one phase or other of the world of fashion, of business, of health resorts, of the underworld. The heroine is a tragic figure- with whom it is difficult for the reader to identify of sympathize. Rich, unhappy, restless, acquisitive, Marie takes what she wants- then throws it away. Her marriage- to her cousin's fiance- is a failure in six weeks. The cause? She must be the centre, by fair means or foul. A nymphomaniac, with an early acquired taste for opium, she is headed for disaster, and takes others down with her, for few can resist her fascination. One is never told that this or the other is the secret of her tragedy, but bit by bit the pieces fall into place. Marie has taken Count Tsensky- and through him started her downward path, caught in the drug habit. She takes Ekelund from Louise. She tries for Dr. Littlewood- then almost unwittingly captures Gordon Miles- is responsible for several violent deaths - and in the end, for her own. It is a tragic story, relentless, almost epic, in the march of fate. Minor characters play varying roles:- the Bonnard family, hotel owners around the world, the little people who live at their hotels, the people caught up in the drug racket, the people at the nursing homes - and always the victims of Marie Bonnard's egotism. There's a strange fascination, demanding close reader attention, as the story unfolds from one, then another, viewpoint.