Living up to a fine reputation, Mr. Pilkington has skillfully plotted a suspense story around a timely situation-- attempted escape from East Germany. Caught in a spotlight by guards, 14 year-old Manfred Brand is forced to escape back into East Germany, as his parents successfully ""skip"" the border. Weeks later, the lad and his dog, after a heated struggle, reach the other side. With only the name ""Eisenbart"" as a clue, Manfred and three new acquaintances-- English children on vacation--set out to find his parents. Naturally, after a few bum leads and dead ends, the children find the Eisenbart and the Brands. The tale is intriguing and will meet with approval of young adventures. However, as to realism, it is far from believable; the four youths are too independent, too precocious,-- only a few times does Manfred act on impulse or without thinking like an adult.