A far cry from medieval romance of The Fool of Venus to this story of a political boss in a mythical -- or should we say symbolic -- midwestern state and city. Stagg is a lecherous middle-aged cuss who owns the Governor and most of the press and a large slice of the town property, and whose ambition is to be Senator. His enemies are legion, and his chance for achieving his political goal is in hazard as the story opens with the murder of a chorus girl on a little private binge of the big boss. The book is well-written, brisk dialogue, realistic and not too ordid a picture of a typical American political machine. Plenty of action, a bit of mystery of the whodunit class (no authentic detective character however) and a contemporary challenge in a novel showing ""it can happen here"". The publishers are pushing it as their big book (afraid we can't agree as to the scope of its appeal, it seems to us definitely a man's book). Promotion and advertising to be substantial. Watch it but don't plunge.