.... leaves a carbon aftertaste. There are smuggled diamonds in the desert and inevitably blood on the sand. Dawlish, our hero, relentlessly tracks down the smugglers, seeking to solve the case as a member of the Crime Haters, international police organization, and to avenge the near strangulation of his wife. The trail leads from Kangarmie, a near ghost town on the edge of Africa's Kalahari desert where Nigel Forrest has returned after a two-year disappearance, a skeletal figure with diamonds in his belt and no explanation (he immediately collapses in a coma),- into the desert for a few murders, discovery of an empty hideaway and back to the taciturn townspeople of Kangarmie. All's solved and all's well at the end. Forgettable fiction.