This is disappointing, from the author of The Jury. His second book, The Bending Sichle was a trick book, which didn't quite come off. This is authentic enough in its design, but unconvincing in its motivation, and a bit on the quaint and precious side in development and handling. David is a simple romantic by temperament, but his life becomes complicated by the intrusion of a love affair with a girl half his age, who then, nonchalantly enough, leaves him flat and turns to a man nearer her own age. The man is found dead. There are three suspects --and the criminal turns out to be someone entirely outside the main story. Not a mystery, not even a murder story, in the Iles' sense, for there is little psychological synthesis here, nor attempt to recreate the motives.