One of the author's philosophy-laden police procedurals (All in a Summer's Day. etc.) covering a night's activities at the Radholme precinct station-house. The major event is an armed break-in at a department store by three small-time hoods, one of whom is unnecessarily, almost casually, killed by Constable Chatterton. The buildup has its funny side, with slow-witted Edgar Morrison manning the desk and managing to avoid any feelings of urgency as the calls for more help keep pouring in. Later, as Chatterton's partner Bulmer is bullied by obnoxious Superintendent Barstow into building the case against him, only staunch, clear-eyed Chief Inspector Riddle emerges with honor. There are snippet background and character studies, mostly interesting, on the night's roster, and a catalogue of minor happenings--vandalism, drunks, joy riding, etc. Overlooking the long-winded asides on the functions, organization and philosophy of the constabulary, this is solid stuff of its kind, with less blood, guts and verbiage than much of the author's more frenetic work.