A slim, dour examination of the flip-flop nature of right and wrong, from the veteran author (A Conflict of Interests, etc.) of moral enigmas. Here, respectable, long-married Detective-Sergeant O'Connor is so horrified when one of his son's friends becomes hooked on drugs that he plants a stash on alleged drug-pusher Hawsley. When Hawsley's wife lies to back up her husband, and O'Connor's partner, Detective-Inspector Brent, a savvy, streetwise bachelor, lies to protect O'Connor, the officers are suspended pending an investigation, O'Connor sits home and panics about his bills, and Brent involves himself in trying to prove that Hawsley's a drug-dealer, seriously endangering his wealthy girlfriend and almost killing himself too, before he finds a way to blackmail Hawsley into backing off. Twisty ethics and well-drawn characters mark this as one of the author's better efforts, and Brent's downbeat love life, his changing attitude toward his partner and his work, are compelling enough to warrant a second book, maybe even a series.