British in derivation, this is a civilized and controlled first novel which argues around a question of conscience- and cowardice, generates considerable drama in the process. Peter Lewis, a Captain in the Army and a hero after a mission in Kasmaan in which the sixteen men under him had died, returns to England- to a session with nerves and night-sweats as well as the awareness of guilt towards a Major Falkland, abandoned by the Army and branded as a renegade. Falkland who had been to Peter- and to the natives- something of a Lawrence and who had idealistically set his allegiance above the limited understanding of the military. With the news that Falkland had been killed, by his own people, and given the support of Clare, whom he loves, Peter throws away his career, defies army orders to expose the betrayal of Falkland, but at the close is enabled by circumstance to start a new life with Clare- and her small boy. Something of the quality here- and the concern- of the Nigel Balchin books, this is alert to a matter of private integrity warring against protocol and the public eye, and is effective entertainment.