To my knowledge a new writer -- but the case of style indicates long apprenticeship, in the O'Hara school. And it is to that market, with less appeal to those who like him for his smut, and more appeal to those who like him for his very real sense of character, dialogue and situation. This is the story of a North Carolina university town, of its pettinesses, its narrowness of vision, its warmheartedness in big troubles. One gets a cross section of the town -- and a close-up of the lives of a young instructor and his wife. The book has the fault of youth in occasional crowding the canvas, occasional melodrama, but the writer shows more than promise in his well paced plot and skilful handling of character.