Harassment and assault take their toll on a British army base in Germany as the Special Investigation Branch’s Max Rydal (Czech Mate, 2007, etc.) struggles for control.
Easter approaches. Sergeant Major Tom Black’s three daughters rehearse their parts in the school play while his wife Nora rushes to finish sewing the dresses for a spring bridal party. Major Charles Clarkson, the unit’s surgeon, readies his family for their trip to Portugal. But all’s far from well with decorated helicopter pilot Sam Collier and his beautiful wife Margot. Anonymous letters threaten Sam, then someone tries to run Margot off the road. Two nights after Margot reports the harassment to the SIB, Max almost runs over Sam lying on the road, beaten unconscious. When he awakens, Sam stonewalls both Tom and Max, claiming he can’t remember the attack, until Clarkson finally sends the two Redcaps away for badgering his patient. Clarkson’s days darken when a teenager accuses him of inappropriate touching. Soon the base is in an uproar as vigilante parents scream for Clarkson’s head; unexpected grudges arise among pilots and enlisted men; and Margot’s father, General Phipps, sends a stern warning to close the case soon.
Rydal’s fourth adventure serves up a tastier blend of family drama and military sleuthing than you’d likely find in the Mess. With all that infighting and backstabbing, it’s a wonder the troops have any time left for the enemy.