Veteran storyteller Cleary's latest adventure for Australian Detective Inspector Scobie Malone finds him on a sniper's hit list--along with other members of his police academy class, specifically those who taunted a recruit who was compelled to drop out. Will Scobie find the gunman before he completes his list? To complicate matters, one of the others marked for death is engaged in a passionate romance with the prime minister's wife, and rather than reveal this, he refuses Scobie's offer of protection; another is a world-famous opera singer, with engagements he refuses to cancel; another, still with the force, is on a stakeout and can't be notified of the danger. Rather than become a sitting duck, Scobie decides to be the stalking horse and engineers a situation certain to lure the ex-cadet to him--which it does, but not before there are more deaths, Scobie is wounded, and a member of the Department resigns just before his underworld connections (and ties to one of the murders) are revealed. More conventional and less complex than previous Cleary yarns, with fewer glimpses of that awesome Australian scenery. But Scobie and his father (""the cop-hater mortally ashamed of having a cop for a son"") are revealed in depth and make for interesting reading, as does the fluctuating morality of both the Department officials and underworld honchos.