Veteran author Cleary's Australian Inspector Scobie Malone of Sydney's police force (Dark Summer, etc.) is grappling with the murder of small-time lawyer Will Rockne, shot in his car in the parking lot of a local beach club, his wife, Olive, only yards away. Rockne's office safe tums up ten thousand in cash and a personal bank account in the millions. His young secretary confesses to one salacious weekend with her boss -- a fact that appears more upsetting to Rockne's 18-year-old son Jason than to Olive, whose chief support seems to be high-powered lawyer Angela Bodalle. Tracking the source of Rockne's fortune uncovers connections to a bank with branches in very exotic locales, to wealthy bookie Bernie Bezrow, and to a mysterious car salesman with several aliases, one of them Dostoyevsky. There are more killings before a final confrontation, with hostages, seals the fate of the money and the killer. A steadily absorbing plot with some untraditional facets, a clutch of well-drawn characters and a detective who continues to be warm, intelligent, and unsmug make Bleak Spring one of Cleary's best.