A particularly ugly case for Inspector Ian Roper (Kindness Can Kill, 1994): the smothering of eight-year-old Sharon Vickers in the woods owned by Ipswich solicitor Gerald Langdon. There are no clues, but an obvious suspect: Langdon's self-styled gamekeeper, Jacko Penhaligon, a man with a history of molesting children. But Penhaligon's never been violent in the past-- despite the conviction of a neighbor who rings his bell and lays him out on the doorstep--and Roper's maddeningly routine inquiries soon turn up new possibilities, chief among them a cache of porn videos that link nervous accountant Harry Morgan, a dry-eyed widower, to some surprising members of Roper's own department. As Constable Alan Campbell struggles with his ensuing domestic problems, and undomesticated Sergeant Barry Swan wrestles with the unfamiliar problem of a woman he can't get into bed, a new pattern emerges with the poisoning of a hospital porter's dog and the fire-bombing of a nurse's home. Sadly, the culprit and motive this pattern implicates are the least interesting things in the book. Despite a climactic letdown, though, low-level tension makes this a good choice for village-mystery fans, who'll feel they've come to know every last soul in the troubled shire of Little Endesley.