Except for one sexually suggestive short story in Orphans and Other Children (1974), this novel is very different from anything Webb has written. All his declarative yeses, nos, and shrugs have become more extended innuendos and evasions to heighten the curious and curiouser victimization of Laura Foster. Laura's husband John, a writer, has disappeared and when first met, she is looking for him in a club of ""allurement and charm""--the Blue Stallion Baths. Very swished on, very blue. John has gone off with a man called Elsinor; their children have disappeared, and Laura tags along on a weekend with a photographer Paul who later vanishes. A lawyer tells her that John has removed the children and also accused her of a homicidal act against one of them. At the end John and Paul (who is Elsinor) go still further in one distasteful confrontation after the other. Webb's story is much more fastidious than what we've been exposed to in the worlds of skin and leather--but it has a horrendipitous hook from one queasy moment to the unexpected next.