On the night terrorist Roger Illmore escapes from the Torring Farm prison and heads for a place to hole up until he can flee England, young Andrew Stone, tiptoeing out of his girlfriend Joanna's house, has the bad luck to catch a glimpse of the fleeing prisoner. The next night, Andrew's car is waylaid by men wearing Mickey Mouse masks. When he wakes up, he's parked in front of his own house, and his detective-sergeant dad suspects that Andrew is responsible for a hit-and-run death. Is he? Rather than turn in his own son, Stone falsifies evidence and begins investigating what gradually comes to seem like a frame-up. Then his superiors suggest he take a leave while they decide whether to toss him off the force; his wife is injured by a car bomb; and he ties in the terrorist with the theft of US siloed rockets destined for Northern Ireland. All ends tidily with a full-scale police raid at sea--and lack of sufficient evidence (thanks to the car bomb) to convict young Stone. Ashford, whose characters usually are caught up fighting their principles (An Illegal Solution, 1991, etc.), again tests his hero's moral fiber by giving him conflicting loyalties. Intellectually interesting, but the plot borders on the outlandish.