More trouble for sometimes reckless art-expert/banker Tim Simpson, member of a three-man team that heads the Art Investment Fund of London's White's Bank (Gothic Pursuit, etc.). Chief Inspector Nobby Roberts, Tim's best friend, lies near death in a hospital--the result of a vicious attack somehow connected to his recent probings into the world of drugs and money-laundering. Neither his superiors nor co-workers know what trail Nobby was following, but Tim, picking up some obscure clues, thinks he's on to something. He's determined to explore further--despite heavy-handed warnings from Nobby's blustery Commander Brandon and flak from live-in girlfriend Sue Westerman, a curator at the Tate gallery, who packs and leaves when her strident objections prove futile. Tim then sets out on a nebulous path that leads to art-dealer Morris Goldsworth; to Mitch Woods, an art restorer who paints superb fakes; and to a second painting technician. Ruthless killing follows or precedes each of these encounters, as Tim and police Detective Sam Johnson try to figure out what's behind it all. in the end, it's Mitch Woods' seven-year-old son Jeff who provides the crucial lead that helps Tim put it together for a zingy, heroic finale. Polished, smart, funny, and vulnerable--Tim's a charmer in a story full of gutsy characters, lively lore on Impressionist painters, and marked by an air of tension sustained to the end. Tops in a steadily entertaining series.