This attempts a ""serious psyche"" investigation, is successful up to a point (provided an acceptance of planted motivation) and falls down in its psychological-physical manifestations. Ann Bowen has had a traumatic affair in New York, she goes to spend the summer session of Caruth College with her father, and, in attempting a readjustment, turns the life of Hans Grimm, an old friend of her father's and in the music department, upside down. For she breaks through the shell of his early rejections, frustrations and nullifications, shows him a love he never dreamed of, and, when she tires of him, drives him to kill her. The brother of the town's whore -- Mary Pulaski known as Beavertooth -- is arrested, jailed and, through his deaf-mute-moronic inability to communicate, accidentally killed. Grimm, guilty, pays for that guilt in a new association with Beavertooth, evades police inquiry by taking her to New York and there -- with the pressure of hepatitis -- reveals the evil he has done to everyone concerned. The shortchanging done in the name of love -- Ann's parents, her father and an earlier mistress, Ann and a student, Grimm's mother-father relationships, and Beavertooth's care for her defective brother -- is a chorus for this amplified analysis which departs from this author's earlier, less complex The Best Thing That Ever Happened.