This story recommends itself more on subject matter than on handling, for Hindus limps considerably when it comes to using the narrative vehicle for factual content. His intent is admirable --to place before his audience a picture of a Czechoslovakian village, proud of its independence, its progress, its loyalties, its integrity; of that village as the Nazi conquest takes it over, in the person of the son of the only German family resident there; of the repercussions, reprisals, the upsurging of hate and deception and cruelty on both sides. All this he does, but his story is slow in getting under way, his dialogue is awkward, his characters -- at least for half the book, more or less puppets in his hands. At the close, his central characters go ""underground"" as part of the far reaching organization plotting for the redemption of the conquered peoples. A book that is in the news, and merits attention on that score.