Imported from England, this melodrama checks out the suspect (a ""nutter"") responsible for the rape-murder of a fifteen-year-old youngster snatched from a hospital ward, and some of the racier aspects of the case are balanced off by the clinical-procedural detail and adamantine attitude of Savage, whose name suits him, and Jack Eaves, his C.I.D. assistant. The horror of the crime is also instrumental in (a) airing the narrowness of mind and heart in this small town and (b) focalizing the discontent and sexual disaffection in the marriage of Jack Eaves and his wife Joyce, superior to him as well as the town. So that while half of the book concentrates on the attempt to identify the rapist-killer, the other half deals with the brief marital sabbaticals indulged by both Jack and Joyce. Still the intent of the book is to show the sullying effects of the crime on ""the interrogators"" as they cannot altogether clear themselves in the methods used to, bring the criminal to book... Bald and brutal enough to straitjacket the reader.