First of a series featuring the police department of a mid-sized northern city in England, with the chief focus on divorced, Polish Detective-Inspector Charlie Resnick--who lives with four cats and a collection of jazz records and is on the brink of a tentative affair with bristly social-worker Rachel Chaplin. Charlie and his crew are trying to solve the brutal murders of two single women: brassy Shirley Peters (whose jealous ex looks like a sure thing for her killing) and Mary Sheppard--a divorced mother of two children, who are left with her disapproving mother on Mary's once-a-week evenings out. After a link between the two women is discovered--both advertised in the local newspaper's Lonely Hearts' column--team members Naylor, Divine, Patel, and especially Lynn Kellogg are given the job of tracing and talking to as many of the respondents as they can find. Lynn's intuition hones in on suave college professor William Doria, but Superintendent Jack Skelton is less than enthusiastic. It takes another near-fatal incident--and violence that comes very close to home--before Charlie can shut the file on this one. Smartly written and plotted, in quick-cut style, the author creates a hero too sensitive for his job but capable and appealing. Too much space is given to some not very interesting subsidiary members of the force, but this is an above-average police procedural and a solid debut.