Again a Malayan setting for an eerie novel of counter-espionage and its concomitants. I thought it the best of his three, and closer in mood and tempo to the first, Afraid in the Dark, than to Element of Risk. While he is rightly charged with owing something to John Buchan- and perhaps the earlier Graham Greene- Mark Derby is making certain facets of this type of novel peculiarly his own. In this new one he is telling a story on several levels of personality and experience, a device not easy to handle, and in the main contributing largely to the success of this. A man, dying in a Penang hospital, manages to get out two parts of a vital secret- to two people, before he dies at the hands of a third. The thrilling succession of misadventures and catastrophes -- and a romance in the making- provide first rate reading, at a plane considerably above the average spy thriller.