Rarely has mystery been so gloriously (or, for some readers, frustratingly) overwhelmed by atmosphere--more so even than in Hubbard's other highly atmospheric work. Steve and Helen Anderson move into an isolated old house near the Lod River, and both are strangely drawn to the river, though stories circulate about its dangerously weak banks and powerful undertow (the house's previous owner drowned seven years back). And Helen is even more weirdly, ambivalently drawn to neighbor Matthew Summers, the forbidding village squire and Casanova. Adultery is inevitable (a Hubbard trademark), exploding on the night when Helen almost drowns in the river; but what's the mystery--some will complain--and where's the murder? Well, hang in there, folks: someone finally starts trying to drown Steve, and a maniacal motive lurks. Not for blood-and-action seekers, but, on its own pastoral terms, a tautly sustained composition of field, river, sky, passion, and madness.