It's hard to imagine a teenager who deserves to die as much as Nicky, Snape. He's a burgeoning one-kid crime wave, stealing from his mother, his teacher Hannah Campbell, and the owners of whatever cars he and his mates can boost. But when he's found dead in the children's home where he was sent after being pulled off the elderly couple he was beating in the course of still another robbery, his mother grieves just as deeply as if he'd been a model child, and his older brother Shane, no stranger to the police himself, turns just as threatening. Inspector Charlie Resnick pledges that stolid veteran Bill Aston will head a thorough investigation into Nicky's apparent suicide (what was the motive? where was the superintending staff?, was there any possibility of murder?)--but then Aston himself is found beaten to death, and Resnick's people reel as they struggle to make sense of this sickening new development. And of their own lives: Constable Lynn Kellogg sees a therapist about the murderous abduction she survived; Constable Kevin Naylor agonizes about his inability to get his wife pregnant; Constable Mark Divine sows his seed broadcast; Resnick himself takes up with Hannah Campbell--till the whole case snaps together with a final jolt. Harvey's 24-karat British procedurals (Living Proof, 1995, etc.) have always led the field, but in his eighth he's surpassed himself with a likely Edgar nominee that just might win him the audience he's always deserved.