This is the first in a long line of adventure tales of exceptional excitement to show a certain literary combat fatigue-and it is perhaps difficult to say in just what area the athesis is apparent. Or perhaps it is just that there is less of a personal story (and only a wisp of romance) to involve the reader in what is primarily an account of hazard and holocaust at sea. The story, as told by Donald Ross, concerns his brother lain, of uncertain character but forceful charm and ability, believed to have deserted during the war and to have now assumed the identity of a Major Braddock. Both brothers share a childhood attraction to the island of Laerg- in the Outer Hebrides, now a tracking station for a rocket base to be evacuated in spite of chancy weather conditions. Braddock, in command of the manoeuvre, executes it in the face of the warnings of the meteorologist; there is a shattering sea and storm sequence with calamitous results; a first rescue attempt adds to the death toll; and finally Braddock, while having successfully salvaged some of the men, returns to face the inquiry into his identity and the disaster..... Again an untamed, threatening natural background implements the rampant action values of the story but the emphasis on navigational and meteorological elements will direct this primarily to a masculine market which may not compare or cavil.