Leo Silver, the new breed of cop at the Met (yuppified/no strong-arm stuff) receives an awful assignment: a secret investigation of his partner, George Macrae--a hard-drinking, tough as tire-iron copper--and of the allegation that he's bent. While Silver tries to extricate his partner from the greedy demands of a blackmailer, Macrae's ex-wife, Linda, befriends her new neighbor Irene, who seems uncommonly interested in her flat's former tenant, a young girl who committed suicide. Or was it murder? Meanwhile, Macrae is trying to help his former driver's widow; chain-wielding punks are roaming the council flats; Irene is chatting up a real- estate agent who likes to pummel women; and Silver is blackmailing the blackmailer's girlfriend in the hopes that she'll get her boyfriend off Macrae's case. Three will die before this edgy study of parental devotion/abandonment/guilt wraps up. Sharply focused, intense, complete. The Macrae-Silver series (Thief Taker, Dirty Weekend) ranks high among the British procedurals with psychological undertones.