A first straight novel by the author of several superior mysteries, this is a strange derisive story of a mistake in marriage, that of staid, fatuous, but not stupid Charles, to bland, beautiful and unresponsive Martha. Martha appreciates the accessories of her marriage, but not her husband, and is unable even to simulate interest. When he almost dies of a seeming allergy, he becomes obsessively convinced that she is trying to kill him. Charles is sent away; Martha resumes an old affair, and lacking the courage to ask for divorce, she plays for time. On his return, frightened by his still unreasoning mind, she leaves him.... A curious, clever play on emotional distortion.