This is described by its publisher as a ""psychological suspense thriller"" without indicating to what lengths it will go, nor what a glazed compilation of apperception tests, analytic, hypnotic and sleep techniques, as well as pharmacology, it includes. Alexander Kahn, a psychiatrist, decides to take a vacation which becomes all busman's holiday when he meets, on shipboard, the beautiful Annabel who swallows an indiscriminate number of pills. Her mother had recently been stabbed (172 times) to death, leaving a surviving stepfather Martin and a younger brother Julina who's being considered for a lobotomy. Kahn wins Julian's confidence (it seems he's only epileptic), saves him when he's found hooked up to some electrodes, and Martin is murdered. Kahn is a moderate man--he believes ""that if insomnia sufferers picked up a book regularly they could forgo Seconal or Nembutal."" If they pick up this book they'll reach the Rapid Eye Movement plateau in no time flat without the help of either.