The story opens when his wife and her brother are committing what they hope is the perfect murder, but he survives and disappears. For a while. When he returns, he has no idea that the two of them tried to kill him, and he begins to put his life back together.
Except not quite. He has a memory of when he was someone else entirely, and that memory gets him involved in some hanky-panky that was going on without his knowledge. It's the reason his brother-in-law wanted to kill him. And then . . . .
Well, it's complicated. Trust me. And the plot is a little muddled by things that Marlowe obviously didn't plan too well when he started
writing. I'd tell you more, but you don't want to know.
I will tell you that there's one scene that made me very uncomfortable, a scene that I might nothave noticed so much back
when I first read the book, but one that's almost guaranteed to make me squirm now. It's supposedly germane to the plot, but still . . . .
That aside, the book has the kind of readability that the best of the Gold Medal writers give you. If the plotting's a little shaky, so what? They don't write 'em like this anymore, no matter how much they might like to.