Thomas (The White Hotel, 1981, etc.) is an expert recycler, doing his best to keep the literary environment clean of any especially fresh idea or slant. In his last matters-grave- and-ultimate-style, he ``probed'' the Kennedy assassination (Flying Into Love, 1992), and now he does the Holocaust: the crimes of a prison-camp doctor and the ripples of guilt, responsibility, and nightmare that circle outward after the grisly time. In Auschwitz, Dr. Lorenz assists Mengele, while a Czech inmate in turn assists him--even to the degree of listening sympathetically to the doctor's demons erupting. The inmate survives to become a London shrink and to garner a practice of patients and disciples who, both consciously and not, recapitulate the moral evasions and pains of his experience. Another writer, with less of a need to throw down a cheap buffet of sex-scandal, horror, dream, and highbrow culture-- Thomas's four apocalyptic horsemen--might have made something of this, but Thomas doesn't: it's a confusing mash, too impatient to play out a thread and watch it become part of a fabric, full of fake exits and entrances, characters that are little more than tossed-together names, and liberal scrapings from others' documentary works. Skip it.