A John Bent story -- as once again the imperturbable, implacable Bent steers his way through the intricacies of emotional involvements which make the solution of who killed Gavin Hunter exceedingly difficult to achieve. Hunter was cordially disliked by almost everyone, chiefly his housekeeper, his stepson (whose fortune was untouchably Hunter's so long as Hunter lived), and most of the neighbors. Other lives were involved in his life -- or death; matters of inheritance, of independence financially, etc. There was Professor Shaftoe, whose young wife was in love with Hunter's stepson; and Jean's aunt who had conditioned her to the need for money; there were deliberately faked alibis; there was motive where the crime seemed impossible -- and no motive where it did. Smooth going -- for the reader, though in retrospect the motivation is inconclusive.