In the down-at-heels northern England city where lonely, divorced Detective-Inspector Charlie Resnick lives and works, the body of six-year-old Gloria Summers--missing for more than two months--has at last been found. Now, however, little Emily Morrison has also vanished, raising the specter of a similar end in the minds of her newly married father and stepmother--as well as a sense of urgency in the men of Resnick's precinct as they diligently pursue every lead. One of those leads, activated by Resnick's intuition, bites pay dirt, but Emily's fate remains hidden until the final surprising pages. A score of vivid characters move in and out of the action-- some brave and stoic, some frayed and hostile, some bravely human- -but Resnick, in past outings a solid, compelling focus amidst all the angst, is a weaker presence here, making this fourth in the series (beginning with Lonely Hearts, 1989) very slightly less than the author's best. Still, it's a powerful, first-class police procedural.