Sparse economy of plot, and searching meticulousness of style characterize this translation from the French-- a novel that is actually a study of an individual's search for the truth, for meaning in life, for love of humanity. The ""I"" of the novel is a lonely man, a writer who became a disillusioned bank clerk after the war, bitter and cut off from his fellow man. One evening, through a chance meeting, he encounters Georges, who had just committed a passional crime of murdering his mistress who had- he thought- betrayed him. The writer takes Georges to his room, and in twelve hours of intimate conversation they discover a mutual need, and a new world opens before them. Together they investigate the truth behind his suspicions- and when Georges finds that the murder, though justifiable, must receive its punishment, he kills himself. But he has at least achieved something for the man who be-friended him... On psychological grounds the author has depth and emotional values, but often the tenuous delving into the agonies of achieving self expression become tiresome to the reader. Limited appeal.