If you enjoyed the powerful atmosphere of Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby you may just have an inkling of the smoothly professional efficacy of Alec Waughs The Fatal Gift. His novel breathes the values and attitudes of the early decades of the 20th century. Raymond Peronne has wealth, is bright, is devastatingly attractive to women: his fatal gift. Second son of a baronet, Perronne goes to Oxford (from which he is rusticated), then to New York (in the20s and 30s) and is in Egypt during the war (moving in circles then, as in this novel, inhabited by such as Evelyn Waugh, Claud Cockburn and Robin Maugham.). In tense anticipation we watch Peronne, for whom good fortune seems always imminent, fall at every point-until he finds the isle of Dominica and begins a love affair the like of which he has never known.