What has happened to Wolfgang Herm, vice president of EUREAC, the gigantic chemical works whose forthcoming Spartshaven Project addition is taking over the Brabt (Belgium) marshlands and perhaps bringing extinction to the beloved tern? His wife (a monstrous lady who seems to be hiding something) says he walked out of his house for a few seconds of fresh air and has disappeared. Has he suicided, perhaps over some sexual or financial sin? (EUREAC refuses to release the minutes of the last two meetings attended by Herm.) Has he run off with company funds, or even from his homosexual pal, painter Emil Schneider? Or has he perhaps been kidnapped by terrorists, ecological or otherwise? (Herm's daughter, whom he once turned in for drug possession, has been known to harbor the terrorists of Red Spectre.) All these questions face Commissioner Jan Argand of the Brabt police department--whose boss seems to be toying with him (is he really not interested in recovering the missing industrialist?) and whose very own housekeeper has allowed four bugs to be planted in his apartment! Rathbone goes on to introduce the familiar elements of kidnap suspense--ransom demands, an assassination or two--but it's all handled with fine-detailed, cynical exactness, with dark shadings of a brand of social satire that may be somewhat lost on American audiences. And the ironic finale finds Argand and Herm about to be murdered by immersion in concrete while a car radio plays Mendelssohn's ""Fingal's Cave."" Ecology, corporate evil, assorted brands of gang violence, angst, and paranoia--another offbeat, distinctly European political-suspense diversion from the author of A Raving Monarchist (1978).