Providing police protection to Cathy Jordan, the visiting hard-boiled American author who's being threatened with the same gruesome fates she's visited on her characters, doesn't leave Inspector Charlie Resnick and his Nottingham team much manpower to pursue leads in another case--four attacks on local men who've been remarkably closemouthed about the women (woman?) who stabbed them. Then a fifth attack ends in murder, and Cathy Jordan, who's suffered nothing worse than some more anonymous letters and a can of red paint flung at her by an irate demonstrator, is left to fend for herself while Resnick & Co. get serious about their more reclusive femme fatale. As usual in Resnick's cases, there's a galaxy of brightly drawn supporting players, from Cathy's gladhanding, unhappy husband to her desiccated professional rival to the hapless book-collector who stands a little too close to that demonstrator. Harvey's seventh procedural (Cold Light, 1994, etc.) is smartly paced, slyly humorous, unsentimental about police work, violence, and other alienations of affection--altogether one of his best. Just like his first six.