Somebody really wanted Bernard Bailey dead, somebody who was willing to inject him with barbiturates, slip him a massive dose of morphine, then stab him a few times for good measure. Was it the anonymous correspondent who threatened him with death if he didn't sell his fallow farmland to neighboring developer Mike McQueen for a right-of-way that would otherwise disrupt avirgin forest?. To Stansfield's Inspector Lloyd and his lover, Inspector Judy Hill, it seems as if the only effect of the surveillance camera, alarms, bells, and whistles that Bailey installed in response to the threats was to give his wife an ironclad alibi for his murder. But that may be just what Rachel Bailey needs, since she was a hired wife who stood to gain nothing from her marriage unless she bore her beastly husband the son that would secure his inheritance--and since she's evidently been whiling away the hours between his joyless attempts at procreation flirting with every warm-blooded male in the village of Harmston. Two of her potential lovers, TV reporter Curtis Law, and Save Our Woodlands Sites activist Jack Melville, have motives of their own, as do Bailey's abused daughter Nicola and, yes, canny Mike McQueen himself. But McGown, as you'd expect, has still more tricks up her sleeve. The fantastically intricate murder plot lacks the tragic inevitability of Verdict Unsafe (1997). Still, it's a pleasure watching McGown's wheels of justice grind exceeding small.