This is a rather sentimental, didactic tale set in the wilds of contemporary Northern Ireland, where the IRA is very much alive. Hugh Randall, ace reporter for the London Globe, has humanity without involvement -- the outsider's ability to witness brutalities without response. His opposite, Horace Blundell, the paper's local Anglo-Irish representative, dabbles as spy for the Republicans until he is no longer able to participate in the (albeit) necessary violence of revolution, when he is rather gratefully disposed of. His wife, Anne, cuts out on his indecision and alcoholism to Hugh, who never quite finds time (amid sudden upheavals in the Near East) to take their proposed non-conjugal holiday. It is a sad, occasionally engrossing tale about responsibility and commitment and failure.