In Tokyo, Cooper, spiritually and emotionally gutted, has sold his mind to Victor Hawkins who has a ""most unusual traffic"" in documents and human beings (little girls). Cooper's work is to appraise and verify papers and letters, among them now the Q document, once in the hands of a former Jewish scholar who became a Nazi. The document, a contemporary source for the four Gospels, has a potential for heresy which could destroy Christianity, and once certified, Victor plans to sell it to the Red Chinese. Cooper, partly through a Father O'Connor who tries to make him see the spiritual light, partly through Myoko, an 11-year-old child he rescues and hides from Victor, and partly through Willa, his mistress, is moved to act -- if he can't disprove the document he is ready to destroy it... All of this provides a drama with some obviously Greene-ish tints; the hollow hero; the spiritual conscience; the regenerative humanity. On its own, it comes off very well, as a smooth-surfaced suspense story sharpened by more inscrutable elements.