Set in battle-scarred Europe during and immediately after World War II, this intriguing first novel deals with a man's obsession with a younger woman. While convalescing in a French hospital, British soldier Jamie Lovecraft meets Ania Malina, a hospitalized Polish girl. Letters to his sister mention Ania only briefly at first, but later dwell obsessively on the girl and her physician, Dr. Kessler. As the story shifts seamlessly into first-person narrative first by Jamie, later by Ania Jamie is discharged and moves to Paris. Re-introduced to Ania by Kessler, he finds that the young woman's existence now centers on dancing and drinking. The more shabbily she treats Jamie, the stronger his preoccupation grows. The sensual imagery (which occasionally verges on the grotesque), pervasive sense of doom and lacings of French may limit the novel's appeal somewhat, but its polished prose and fine characterizations merit attention.