From an undefined place and with unlabelled characters, this anatomy of the bones and flesh of fear takes off on a multiple hunt -- two members of a totalitarian state escaping the confines of their political barriers and each finding their own boundaries. Konnr, of the secret security police, to uphold his reputation, is committed to locate his prey, Bryo, escaped from prison and lucky and unimpeded in his movements. Konnr is himself pursued by the threat of higher authority, never fully disclosed, but captures his man in a raging storm only to lose him after their ship is wrecked. That they come ashore, separately, on an isolated island, where the hand of distrust and suspicion has not chilled, makes for a parallel of action for each -- Konnr to take over the inhabitants with his weapons of contempt and humiliation, an insistence on disciplined fear and the exercise of authority; Bryo to win only one, the girl Dolora, to his side and, through her, the sympathy of the other 17 inhabitants; and each to reach their individual fates -- Konnr to a maddened death and Bryo to return to his country to enact the rebellion he has lived but never known. The defeat of the new, middling product of the caste system, a being who is unable to admit the possibility of human, individual emotions and goals, points up current conflicts in an intellectual fugitive and follower chase whose message envelops its adventure.