The author of The Cross of Baron Samedi and For Innocents Only has created a fascinating and remorseless narrative based on a dynamo of hate. When Harry Luby seeks out a childhood friend last seen some thirteen years ago in the hightide comarederie of wartime, he is searching for the solidity of the age of innocence. Now successful in theatre producing, married to a Polish non-Jewish girl, he is at times bewildered by his surroundings. Mitchell Bell comes out of his past only to nurture a tortuous resentment toward Harry, his goodness and his success. He feeds his idee fixe with all the human relationships that come to hand, gradually revealing his hand until it becomes unmistakable in the postlude to seduction of Harry's wife, his final and sharpest tool against the man. Mitch in turn, as he pursues, now exiled, his sterile life, discovers to his surprise that he is the object of resentment by a competing business colleague whom he has outranked. Careful, telling work.