19 MAY 1961, Page 28

It's a Crime

The Half Hunter. By John Sherwood. (Gollancz, 13s. 6d.) One would never know it from the wrapper or the flyleaf, but this is by an ex- perienced and versatile author, whose last ad- mirable thriller (different publisher, of course) was set in a British embassy in the Near East. This disports itself among the detached villas and ice-rinks of our own South Coast resorts, where a boy is caught up, between school and Oxford, with a seventeen-year-old popsy who may or may not be delinquent, and some characters straight out of the Sunday papers—a very lively read and a very skilfully contrived puzzle, by one of the most accomplished and plausible English crime-story writers to appear since Michael Gilbert wrote Fear to Tread.