Howie Fisher existed in a grey area that was death in life. His food was tasteless and salt-free. So was his relationship with his wife. All his movements were slow and heavy like a man moving under water. He had had a heart attack at fifty-four and to stay alive the doctor had condemned him to this treadmill pace. He ran a newsstand at the Times Terrace Hotel just off Broadway and Ed Lacy makes you feel its seedy grandeur, smell the stale lobby, and listen to the sardonic staff chatter with Howie, who must listen for his pulse. In comparison to that big and vacant bestseller Hotel (1964, p. 1110) this is an adult novel. The theme is not new--an aging, steady man driven to a last, grand-slam bid at all the success in business and in bed that the hounding presence of death urges. The hotel setting is one of the great unifiers of time, place and action (like ships, planes and boarding houses) but with Lacy's craftmanship evident in atmosphere, character and dialogue, it becomes one of the minor unforgettables, the sort of thing that could become a classic on Studio One...if there were still a Studio One on TV.