At first it seems like a simple case of kidnapping. But after Victoria Arkwright is turned loose, sadly abused and HIV-positive, two months after her titled father ignores the kidnappers' orders to keep her disappearance a secret from the police, the plot turns deeper and darker. Constable Mike Carr, briefly forgetting his pregnant, ailing wife while he listens to a high-class tart's story of obscene phone calls, has no idea that he's about to become the pivotal figure in a scandal that'll infect the ranks all the way up to the Chief Constable--as well as entangle a rock star and a parvenu billionaire in the kidnappers' plans. This time out, Ashford (The Bitter Bite, 1996, etc., etc.) applies the screws to his sympathetic cop with irresistible relish.