From the straight mystery, this- a novel of suspense-combines the best of both possible worlds and is a very superior show in which action is implemented with effective scenery and some bitter, brittle considerations of personal loyalties. Dick Staynes, a telegrapher in Abyssinia, feels that he owes the country and the natives an ""act of trust""; to his wife, back in England, he owes nothing. Consequently, on the one hand, he undertakes an independent sortie into the city (Addis Ababa) which prompts the assumption that he is an agent provocateur; and on the other, an affair with Laura Bollamy which leads into another danger zone. With Laura he heads into the hills, becomes involved in an arms and white slave traffic, and to prove that he has courage along with his liberal convictions, he saves Laura but by now has lost her love. Thus he returns, expendable in Laura's eyes, foolish in those of the military, and only a hero to the wife he doesn't love.... An ironic, intelligent use of the sullen game of subversion to good ends- it is potent entertainment.