In her first novel, actress Mary Astor acquits herself well and shows both skill and understanding in her handling of Charlie Carewe. Charles suffers from la folie lucide, which is responsible for some of the most dreadful crimes committed and proves that psychopathology is a disease over which law and medicine are powerless. The son of a rich New England family, he learns early in life that society expects certain attitudes and reactions of him. And with the dazzling cunning of his mind he sets out to satisfy his society, aping all its grimaces of pain and pleasure, feeling, all the while, nothing. Charlie Carewe's clinical lack of empathy makes him a potential killer and pervert as is first manifest in his blinding of a childhood friend, his attack on a girl at college, and later in bigamy, blackmail and the criminal carelessness which results in the death of his crippled brother-in-law and young niece. Although the clinical facts of Mary Astor's book are intriguing and indispensable to her novel, they are not presented here as a treatise on psychopathology but are woven into an engrossing story of a man and those he hurts. The fact of madness is handled with imagination so that Charlie Carewe emerges as a force of evil almost mystical in proportion, while the struggle of those surrounding him is woven into a pattern of credible and interesting events. This book will be particularly popular with lending library readers and fans of such novels as Leave Her to Heaven.