Less than 24 hours after she's disappeared from her boarding school, ruffling even the starchy headmistress, Dr. Walling, Mayumi Matsukawa walks into the home of her English mother Elizabeth. May was lonely, torn between her remote father, Kyoto industrialist Yasuhiko Matsukawa, and her unhappy mother, and she'd decided to come home to spend Easter with Elizabeth. Case closed, with thanks to Thames Valley Sgt. Rosemary Zyczynski and due note of the coldness of Hiromu Imura, the company director Matsukawa sent from Switzerland to take charge of May in his absence. But Zyczynski isn't done with the case; she's called back abruptly when Imura is found slashed to death in his hotel room--mistaken for Matsukawa, or killed on his own account?--and May has vanished again. (Elizabeth, who remains impervious to good fortune, is about to have a nasty accident on the road to the Matsukawa facility in Wrexham.) A flurry of clues leads to the studio of pansexual photographer Gregory Coulter, brother of May's study-mate Madeleine Coulter; to family intrigue in Wrexham; and ultimately to May's diagnosis of her anguish: ``I am in two pieces that don't fit.'' Conscientious, if sometimes muddled, plotting, with complications still arriving a few pages from the end. Middling for Curzon's long-running series (Close Quarters, 1997, etc.).