A picture-perfect pre-Christmas Germany brings no joy to military policeman Max Rydal and his team.
While 26 Section Special Investigation Branch is relocating to a new base, one of its trucks and its driver go missing en route. To further complicate matters, there’s no heat in the new offices, and young Kevin McRitchie is brutally attacked in the loo at a fancy-dress party on the base. Max, along with deputy Sgt. Maj. Tom Black and his team, set to work. The discovery of their truck and driver without their equipment points to an inside job. But the dysfunctional McRitchie family poses a more difficult case. Macho Greg, who despises his musician son, has developed an unhealthy interest in his two daughters. Greg’s slavishly devoted wife smothers Kevin with the love her husband withholds. As the detectives track down leads, a young soldier in the band is killed, his body left in the snow. Max, whose unfaithful wife died in a car accident (Russian Roulette, 2006, etc.), is attracted to Livya Cordwell, on base for an interservice chess tournament. His ever-ringing cell phone makes romancing her difficult as his caseload becomes ever more complicated and dangerous. At length, a providential flash of intuition leads Max to a solution that rescues the holiday season.
Less sex and more mystery lift the second of Darrell’s police procedurals with a military twist above her debut.