Dublin's answer to Maigret, Sergeant Matt Minogue (introduced in the provocative A Stone of the Heart, 1988), in trying to sort out the murder by strangling of a rambling tippler, 73-year-old Englishman Arthur Combs, finds himself in the middle of a WW II spy cover-up involving MI6. Anxious about incriminating bits that Combs may have left behind, the English send a man in to dog Minogue's investigation. Soon Combs's former contact, Ball, is murdered by Irish terrorists; Combs's secret data is retrieved from an out-to- pasture horse; and Minogue's simple murder case is overrun by nefarious British intelligence types who--with more murder on their minds--want to keep the lid on Combs's wartime activities and the dastardly lengths his superiors went to keep him at them. By the time Minogue pieces together Combs's story, several more have died; the British embassy is busy ferrying its wounded warriors back home; and Minogue is recommended for promotion. A handsomely written, dark journey into Irish politics and English duplicity. Brady is a master of the telling detail, and within the framework of the political novel, has created memorable characters, most especially the estimable Minogue.