The early, crisis-ridden days of President Gamal Nasser's Egyptian Republic are the background for this fascinating, fast-moving novel of modern political intrigue. The time is just before the terrible Suez Canal fiasco in which Israeli-French-British forces nearly regain Egypt, breaking the back of the new nation's military power in their ferocious attacks. Against this violent and volatile setting, the author creates a web of dozens of characters whose lives touch upon, or directly affect, each other's. Col. Peacock, a popular M.P., has come back to Egypt because of the threatened international ""incident"". There he encounters Capt. Scott, a brave English officer once court martialled, who now works for Nasser. Both men become involved in an attempt to gain the release of Sam Hassoon, a half Jew, who has been arrested without reason as a plotter against Nasser. Quartermain, a journalist, watches the intrigues and plots against Nasser's life while reporting for foreign publications. Interjected in a story line which moves swiftly toward the Canal crisis are fascinating flashbacks to the revolt against Farouk, the 1942 war against the Afrikakorps, and the old colonial Cairo days. The book ends, violently, with vivid descriptions of the Allied attacks, arrests, and the death of Col. Peacock by sniper fire. Although the narrative, even journalistic, style of the book leaves little room for deep character study, its people are alive, believable, and will draw sympathy and interest from a large audience. Dramatic history of recent times is made into very worthwhile fiction.