Detective Inspector Harry Timberlake, of London's Terrace Vale police station, has his hands full with four recent murders on his patch, including a hit-and-run, a shotgun blast, and the more eccentric killings by axe and crossbow. Plus: ``Phantom Flannelfoot,'' a wily burglar, is methodically emptying out well- to-do homes while the owners are way. Will justice prevail before workaholic Harry succumbs to fatigue, and before his relationship with surgical registrar Jenny Long suffers from his absences? A pathologist steers Harry toward believing the murders are connected and, sure enough, all the victims participated in an Old Bailey case. Meanwhile, policewoman Sarah Lewis, another workaholic, is trying to corner Flannelfoot—efforts that bring her to the attention of Harry, with predictable romantic sparks flying. Finally, route investigation leads Harry to the murderer—and then it's a race against time as Harry tries to locate and defuse a delayed-action bomb. A serviceable first effort, with one neat plot-twist that almost offsets the trite who-did-he-choose (Jenny or Sarah?) ending. Still, fans of the small, contained British procedural will be well served and looking for the next.
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