This book is not quite as ambitious as either Passage or Deltchev - but no less masterful for that. Despite a slower beginning (for me), the book picks up and is flawless, once again, in its construction. Clearly Ambler is a man who does not write until he knows what it is he wants to say. How refreshing! and while he chooses to use the style of the political thriller, it is nothing less than the anatomy of man, that "ape in velvet", that he has firmly in his sights.