Detective Sergeant Jack Stallworthy, of the Abbotsport CID, is so efficient that as soon as he looks over the burglary scene at Councillor Arthur Symes’s house, he knows the burglar was Jinkie Morrison; he’s so persuasive an interrogator that Jinkie’s admitted the job five minutes after Stallworthy drops in on him; and he’s so devoted a husband that he plans to put every pound of his share of the burglary proceeds toward the retirement his wife Lily dreams of. But Lily’s dreams have recently gone into overdrive. Instead of a modest cottage in Devon, she wants the soft life on the Asian island paradise of Ko Samui. So Jack, nothing if not game for one last bribe, accepts the deal that computer CEO Emslie Warnaby offers him: sole ownership of a Ko Samui hotel in return for a pale-blue folder of compromising documents the police confiscated from Symes’s place when they arrested him (!) on some bigger charges than burglary. As you’d expect, though, the path to that pale-blue folder is so carpet-mined with problems that every time Jack takes a step toward the bureau that’s storing it all unawares, he ends up further from it than ever. Veteran Keating-watchers will have fun seeing whether Jack fails in his simple-sounding mission, or whether he succeeds to his cost. Keating (Bribery, Corruption Also, p. 1088, etc.) captures the irony and desperation of Donald E. Westlake’s comic capers, though without Westlake’s ingenuity or antic humor.