19 MAY 1961, Page 28

The Dead Past. By Jean Scholey. (Heinemann, 16s.) A philandering

adventurer is found dead in a Land-Rover in a remote corner of Tanganyika, and the District Commissioner has to find out who did it, and why: African or European; because of illicit diamond-buying or a long-ago love affair? Not particularly brisk or suspenseful, but agreeably well written, with the East Africa of Boma and Club, of Indian trader, askari and colonial civil servant especially well done, and a good twist to the plot. Altogether, a very professional debut.