Dramatic history of recent times -- the early days of Nasser's Republic and the Suez fiasco -- is the background of very worthwhile fiction which will draw a wide audience. The author creates a web of dozens of characters whose lives touch upon or directly affect each other's. Col. Peacock and Capt. Scott both become involved in an attempt to gain the release of a half Jew who has been arrested by Nasser. Quatermain, a journalist, watches the intrigues and plots against Nasser's life. The story line moves swiftly toward the Canal crisis and though the narrative leaves little room for deep character study, the characters are alive and believable.