Talkiness has slightly marred many of Clark's old-fashioned, often-intriguing Scotland Yard procedurals--but this time the chatter factor is positively crippling, with a 10-page plot inflated to novel-length via exasperating, repetitious dialogue at every turn. First, Chief Supt. Masters and three of his assistants gather at a coastal hotel for over 100 pp. of exposition, tediously punctuated by endless rounds of drinks. The plotlet: a British lab is close to discovering a cure for cancer--but a Libyan-backed gang has abducted top scientist Arthur Hopcraft, with plans for stealing the cancer-cure secrets from him. Where could they be hiding him?. More stultifying talk ensues (""Fred, you be the moderator"") before Hopcraft himself sends the cops a clue--one that points to a London bank as the kidnap hide-out. And is there some action then at last? Yes--about five pages of it, with a brief shoot-out at the bank that leads to Hopcraft's release and another long, soporific recap. Static, disappointing work--only marginally enlivened by a subplot involving a noble ex-con who helps the Scotland Yard team (and takes some long-overdue revenge along the way).