"RETURNING to his home town after an interval of many years, Gordon Drew finds himself secretary to a Dr. Carru-thers, an eccentric physicist who egotistically labels himself as the ""Admirable Crichton"" of scientific specialists. In this capacity he helps the local police solve a baffling series of fires, whilst the staid Superintendent Denning sets to work in methodical fashion to trace not only the arsonist-but also a murderer. The gripping story moves among the ""little people"" of the town-a fishmonger and a florist-as well as the big people in the shape of a powerful, ambitious emporium owner and a borough surveyor. Here there is crime and murder aimed at an astonishing objective, fascinating, authentic, with science as the main weapon by which the evil-doer achieves his effects. In this field, however, the remarkable Dr. Carruthers also excels and it is his analyses, as much as Superintendent Denning's plodding perseverance, which finally bring a solution to the problem, and justice to the criminal."