Frost obviously knows every dromedary and date palm on the northern edge of the Sahara but seems unable to exploit his familiarity successfully. Here he retreats from the flashy intrigue of The Riddle of the Caid's Jewels (KR, 1969) to the flat, sluggish ""realism"" of Abu's family caravan from Biskra to Ghardaia. In the desert Abu rescues an elegant saluki, catches his father's runaway stallion, visits an impoverished village, discovers four mysteriously abandoned camels and generally behaves like an authentic Arab. One keeps waiting for something more, but this particular Sahara Trail leads nowhere. . . slowly.