A puzzler, Rex Stout. The man can write, that is sure. But he seems unable to keep away from a morbid twist, an introduction of a pathological phase, no matter how inappropriate. Can you imagine anyones making perversion, even a trend of imagination, convincing in the person of a robust fire patrol chief, in regard to one of his young workers. Well, it isn't convincing. But aside from that, it is a good story, not so good as HOW LIKE A GOD, nor so poor as SEED ON THE WIND. And the background of the wooded section where forest fires may sweep the mountains bare is an interesting setting. Not an easy book to sell.