This intelligent but excessively explanatory first novel chro the construction and gradual disintegration of a personality. Peter Bennett is a respected Oxford scholar, a Freudian psychoanalyst, and an expert on the problems of political refugees. He has married into the English Establishment, and enjoys the reputation of being an eccentric genius. He is himself, however, a displaced person, having been born Pietro Caruana, the son of a Fascist family close to Mussolini. He spent the war years and his adolescence as a refugee and as the unlikely protector of a young Jewish girl, Ruth, whom he regards as his sister. Pietro and Ruth were separated and adopted by English families, but Pietro-Peter remains haunted by his past and by his unresolved relationship with Ruth. His apprehension for murder culminates in his estrangement from his English ""character"" and completes his role as a ""displaced person."" Or so his friends announce. The plot is interesting if sinuous, but the treatment is flat and the Freudian detection seems as dated now as Spellbound.