SCORN by Robin Francis


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This is a highly sophisticated study of amorality, set in Egypt. Oliver, a newspaperman, on his way there, is partly responsible for the death of Drusilla, the sister of his best friend, Alex. Alex, who loved Drusilla, is disturbed, but does not blame Oliver. And as Alex, his wife Kezia, and Oliver travel through Egypt, it becomes apparent that in spite of his convincing charm, Alex has no feelings of right and wrong. Coldly, scientifically curious about human feelings, he provokes situations, torments his faithful servant, Major Thule, so that the Major plans to kill him. Others are embroiled, but Oliver refuses to take sides, permits the Major and his assassins to bungle along, and realizes that Alex, while aware of the plot, is simply too remote to be anything but curious. This extraordinary tangle of the tormentors and tormented continues through glittering scenes:- camel races, diggings in tombs, parties in rich hotels. Finally, the Major- given the perfect opportunity, fails- and Oliver dispatches Alex, for no reason-apparently- but impatience. Or has Oliver too, like all who have known Alex, been infected by his amorality... A quite fascinating, beautifully written book with a chilling charm.

Pub Date: Jan. 18th, 1961
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston