Desmond Bagley's first novel The Golden Keel had a certain verve; by now, this is his third novel, he relies solely on action and shows signs of combat fatigue. Wyatt, a West Indian, a meteorologist who tracks hurricanes, trusts his instincts as much as his instruments and is sure that Mabel, a very ""big wind,"" will strike his native Caribbean island. When he orders the total evacuation of the city, he is told-- ""we're fighting a war, dammit. We can't do two things at once,"" This is Bagley's problem too- while waiting for the hurricane to do its worst, he does his best to keep the book alive with a native rebellion and some busy military skirmishes. The characters are almost anonymous; the romance is barely there; and as for the reader, halfway through his endurance has been sharply challenged.