Let's put the cards on the table and confess that it was with something of relief that I accepted O Shepherd, Speak! as the end of Lanny Budd, and that his "return" was unwelcome news. After reading the new book, it seems still a mistake. The magic of the earlier heroic saga has vanished. The machinery creaks a bit, and if anything as much in the headlines could be said to date, this dates. The story revolves around the threat of the Russian propaganda war, into which Lanny is drawn from the island of the peace movement he had chosen. Once again he is sent to trouble spots,- Germany, both West and East, and Poland. Old figures, familiar to his followers, reappear,- Monck, Kurt Meissner (and his troubled son, Fritz), Lanny's sister Bess, now an ardent Communist, and her husband, Hansi, who eventually is enlisted to act in counter-intelligence, some of Lanny's old contacts in the world of art, now reduced to beggardom, and so on. The search for the basic sources of counterfeit money provides the immediate issues, but- as always- this branches out into many fields of counterespionage and there's the climax in Lanny's imprisonment and torture and escape. Once again the reader has a sense of being in the midst of recent history behind the headlines. But somehow, the plot seems synthetic, the development contrived, and the injection of modern socialism and a new approach to the peace movement arbitrary.