A workmanlike novel of intrigue that's a huge improvement over the author's last--Pictures in the Dark (1986). Quiet Scotsman Graham Lorimer, who works for mega conglomerate United Group, is sent by Chairman Grantley to the Mideast country of Shajiha to tidy up after the suicide of company rep Mike O'Brien. Graham has scarcely set foot in the country, though, when someone tries to kill him; O'Brien's widow Janet is frightened and hostile; he finds some odd shipping patterns in the company's local office; he's befriended by security man Ahmed Hassan, who is killed before Graham leaves the country, convinced that O'Brien also was murdered. Things get no easier back in London, where Graham finds himself watched by both Arabs and the British Secret Service as he struggles to make sense out of the bits and pieces. They finally add up to a super-terrorist plot that's excitingly foiled at the last possible second. All in all: neatly paced and solidly plotted, with a minimum of gratuitous sex and visceral violence.