Books: Abel Is the Novel, Merlin Is The Firm

TUNC by Lawrence Durrell. 359 pages Dutton. $6.95.

Balthazar, second novel of Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet, begins portentously with these lines from De Sade's Justine: "The mirror sees the man as beautiful, the mirror loves the man; another mirror sees the man as frightful and hates him; and it is always the same being who produces the impressions."

In Tune, Durrell's first novel since the Quartet ended with Clea in 1960, a neurotic, solid-gold heiress with the heart of a prostitute streaks naked into her empty ballroom and shatters its mirrored walls with a...

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