Another not-very-compelling puzzle for the author's Supt. Otani of Japan's Hyogo police precinct (The Death Ceremony, etc.). The deaths of Arabs Ahmed el Abdalla, victim of a hit-and-run driver, and Hossein Fuhaido, an apparent suicide, are vaguely connected through their attendance at Kobe's mosque. Rough-hewn Inspector Noguchi and ponderous, new-to-the-force Inspector Hara turn up some important leads, one to the star of a famous all-girl theatrical company. But the most important link to the suicide is being kept hidden by suave Inspector Kimura, who suspects his new, red-haired Israeli mistress, Shulamit Steiner, of being the woman seen with Fuhaido shortly before he died. The solution lies finally in some Arab-Israeli espionage that never develops any urgency or much clarity. Worth the time only for Melville's sharp fix on Japanese manners, mores and police workings.