Narrator Albert Kemp, the successful author of thriller novels, and his old friend George Oaks, a war hero (First World War) and journalist, stumble on a drastic plot by wealthy and powerful British lords and scientists to alter the planet. The plotters, who call themselves Sciocrats and propose to rule the world via "unadulterated Reason," have hired an insane but brilliant physicist to design nuclear devices that will enable them to melt the polar icecaps and drown most of the world's civilized populations, leaving them in control. Kemp and Oaks race to foil the plan. Kersh's 1953 thriller is smart and witty (the protagonists lightly quote Shakespeare, Poe, Housman, Donne and others as they discuss the matter), but ends on a somewhat weak and abrupt note.
This report prepared by David Loftus