These short stories by a former officer of the Soviet Secret Police are chiefly about the Soviet concentration camps. He has served as an authority on this subject to the U.N. and other Western groups since his emigration. The stories, with factual detail and an almost official detachment, are rather reports of appalling truths; deliberately played down, they are wholly real tales of false accusations, imprisonments, escapes and reprisals; of camps filled with the wives of former leaders; of torture and hard labor; of dogs trained to kill escapees. Each story is given just the necessary literary framework to set it off from an acutely-observed world of horrors. The overall picture of the psychology of a ruthless world is combre, believable and frightening.