Sluggish going for Detective/Chief Inspector Kelsey and his Sergeant Lambert (Final Moments, etc.) as they try to find the killer of 16-year-old Karen Boland, murdered (but not sexually molested) in the woods near her home. Orphaned Karen had recently moved to Cannonbridge to live with her cousin Christine Wilmot and husband Ian, coming to them from the Roscoes--foster parents in another village who sent Karen back to her Social Services agency after discovering her affair with next-door neighbor Paul Clayton. Karen's welfare had been taken over by the agency in the Wake of her pregnancy, abortion, and accusation of abuse against stepfather Victor Lorimer, newly married to her stepmother Enid. Lorimer was found guilty of that crime and, having served his sentence, is now living reclusively with Enid, a stalwart defender of his innocence. In the meantime, Kelsey and Lambert work their painstaking way through the lives and alibis of every male known to Karen, however tangentially, and get nowhere until a seemingly unimportant interview rewards their unrelenting diligence. Solidly plotted but lackluster in the telling, with drably alike characters and little of the verve discreetly present in this author's best work. Downbeat but readable fare if the genre is appealing.