When an unnamed European country is overrun, British consular official Henry Hendon deserts his post, packs his wife and son in the car, and makes for the border. Lots of other people have had the same idea: a massive traffic-jam chokes all forward movement. Anarchic dog-eat-dogging ensues. When Hendon's wife is shot to death at a roadblock, panic is in full flower. A native girl who can act as translator is picked up; when the car breaks down, a bus is commandeered. If this sounds suspenseful, forget it. Pendry's style--abrupt and edgy--makes the going slow; the underlying themes--power psychology and sexual jealousy--lend an abstract air that undercuts all the drama. As a thriller (which it clearly intends not to be): unthrilling. As a vaguely futuristic psychological/political episode: appropriately uncomfortable in feeling but squinty and self-conscious.