Harry Grebshaw, a minor con-man and sometime police informant, gets that titular knife-between-the-ribs while waiting (in a pub) for a meeting with Detective Inspector Alfred Stanley Rosher. So Rosher, as ape-like, boorish, and oddly appealing as ever (An Uprush of Mayhem, etc.), investigates--first visiting Harry's genteel, uncooperative widow, who belongs to the local chapter of a ""born-again"" Brotherhood (imported from the US). And when Rosher gets a closer look at the sect's leader, the wee and slimy Rev. Edgar P. Mitten, he becomes convinced that the Brotherhood is a shady one. . .and connected to Harry Grebshaw's murder. Rosher is right: as the reader soon learns, the Rev. is a fake, a drug-dealer who has seduced the widow Grebshaw, getting her hooked on drugs and lust; furthermore, the Rev's bosses up in London have sent him a cool, sexy pair of killers to eliminate anyone (like Harry Grebshaw) who interferes with the operation. As usual, then, there's virtually no mystery here. But Scott again turns the small-scale, split-screen action into a sturdy little black-comic entertainment--with bits of bawdy farce, elaborate authorial asides, and a finale that features Rosher vs. the killers (and their beloved Doberman pinscher) aboard a runaway bus.