Supt. Gently returns--sent from New Scotland Yard down to Wiltshire to investigate an initially fascinating puzzle. Arthur Pewsey, an elderly retired judge, has been found shot to death near the summerhouse on his estate. The obvious suspect? A low-life poacher, a frequent sufferer from Judge Pewsey's law-and-order approach--who was seen near the murder-scene. But. . . a fresh fingerprint found on the summerhouse happens to match that of Eric Cleeve, sentenced to die by Judge Pewsey back in 1964! Could it be that Cleeve, officially dead by hanging, somehow escaped the noose and is still alive? (That would mean major governmental embarrassment.) So Gently starts looking for the resurrected Cleeve, wondering if he could be one-and-the-same with Jonathan Stoke--a local farmer who (according to the Judge's slimy grandson) is the lover of the Judge's comely, 50-ish widow. Longwinded interrogations ensue; so do a few chases. But the windup, revealing both how the Judge died and how Cleeve escaped the hangman, is a let-down--and only worth the wait for veteran Gently fans.