After a slight improvement in recent books, Wainwright is back at his crude, overwritten worst--with a breathily padded anecdote about a man (referred to only as ""the man"") who comes out of prison after twelve years, having been unfairly convicted of a teenager's rape. The nervous narrative moves around from his thoughts to his wife's thoughts (in his absence, she's become successful and has a lover); from the supposed rape victim (now an unhappy, fat wife) to her slimy copper-husband (who helped to railroad ""the man"" into prison); from ""the man's"" vengeful reunions to the copper's irrelevant investigation into a burglary-ring. There's a supposed trick ending, but as usual with Wainwright, the effect is more annoying than surprising. And regular dollops of amateur prose (""she wept deep inside herself. . . even though she was not aware of the weeping"") help to make this another British-crime import that should never have crossed the Atlantic.