Did Haile Selassie, the Lion of Judah, actually die in 1976 after being dethroned? Well, in this intriguing but unpersuasive fantasy-thriller, Sir Charles Cromer of London's Cromer Bank (holder of Selassie's three-billion pounds) is led to believe that Selassie has not in fact died. And Cromer agrees (after an approach by Ethiopian intelligence) to meet the deposed emperor and turn over the money to him. Cromer, however, is a shady, tricky sort; so, instead of going to Addis Ababa himself, he hires American actor/teacher James Lomass to go in his place. Also thus involved: Lomass' lover Joanne Kingham, an economics reporter for Money magazine, who gets a glittering interest in this strange business. So, while Lomas, is undergoing a physical transformation (to impersonate Cromer) and is being stuffed with a fast education in banking, Jeanne investigates--and winds up dead in a Hitchcockian murder scene. The final twist: Lomass' attempt to foil the assassination of the still-living Selassie--an attempt which goes ironically awry. Quite a few clever notions, then, but little of the texture and conviction needed to parlay them into absorbing pseudo-historical entertainment.