Keating takes a break from his beloved Inspector Ghote series to resume his anatomy of constabulary ethics (The Rich Detective, 1993), this time with a study of a successful copper pushed to the wall when a slip from his past catches up with him. Just when Ned French, Assistant Chief Constable for the City of Norchester, needs all his energy and attention--there's rumor of a gigantic drug hijacking out of the Norchester airport by the notorious Corrigan cousins--a suicide's confession reopens an ancient case back in Nottingham, where Constable French and his sergeant had coerced a bombing confession from Heather Jonas, an environmental activist who may have spent years in prison for somebody else's crime. As if French's life weren't complicated enough, his confrontation with Heather's determined solicitor, Deborah Brooke, ends with his falling into bed with her, even though each of them is bent on discrediting the other--just as the Norchester police continue to plot against one another about how and when and whether they ought to move against the Corrigans. Bulldog French is forced, despite himself, to ask whether a good detective relies more on tenacity or compassion. A dark fable that brings a welcome new tautness to Keating's work--though American audiences, 25 years after Dirty Harry, may wonder what all the fuss is about.