Somehow a creeping paranoia, darker if less humorless, is overtaking the genre of black comedy; the antic protest becomes more and more meaningless and this one, as twitchy as a tic, goes from one fitful moment to another in the life of hapless Horenson. He's thirty-seven, and he wakes up on his birthday beset and beleaguered on all sides. There's the animus of his wife who has discovered his affair with his secretary, Veronica Cheatle, yes Cheatle, and who is still to learn that he has mismanaged some investments and is three thousand pounds in the hole. The assorted encounters to follow--on the golf course, at a neighbor's, in town, with a boorish American, etc. etc. are all acidulously observed and there are scenes of considerable sexual sangfroid. Which will perhaps indicate that Mr. Troop knows all the right words and modish gestures, but his ambivalent hostilities drift off in midair. Except in the first domestic fracas when Rachel is seen bleeding under her lipstick.