The troubles of Job seem to be falling on 40-ish, just-married headmaster Hugh Roystone. In one term at Coriston College, his respected prep school, a boy has gotten sick on drugs; a pregnant teenager has tried to abort her baby; and Royston's young bride Sylvia has accidentally killed a village child while driving the school minibus. And now, following Sylvia's departure (she's distraught over false rumors that she was drunk at the time of the accident), Royston himself is being accused of attempted rape by 16-year-old Moira Gale! Thank heavens, then, for Detective Superintendent George Thorne and his trusty Sergeant Abbot (A Will to Kill)--who come to the rescue. Lots of listening, probing, and sifting ensue. And finally Thorne detects some masterminding behind all the distress, fingering the culprit. . . whose identity, unfortunately, has long since been telegraphed to the reader. Still, despite a slow start and a transparent puzzle: solid, un-scintillating suspense--with assured storytelling and three-dimensional characters.