Karak: Island in the South China Sea, not exactly a paradise (a Somerset Maugham kind of place), British Protectorate, oil-rich monarchy preparing for succession, seeded with communist agitators and nationalists. Several Brits have been roped into unwittingly abetting their attempt at an uprising. Enter the head of the local government policeanother Colombo type. Can he uncover the conspiracy and thwart their plans? Waugh, to a point, writes with Dickensian wordiness; as if he has a quota to meet. Thus he fills in with cricket matches, golf, and tennis. Oh yes, lets not omit the characters amateurish attempt at the performing arts. At least Dickens did so by adding characters and new scenes. The novel is long on As the World Turns and short on plot: a cross between Columbo and a soap.