A rather sleepy excursion for the author's introspective Inspector Rudd (Sound Evidence), called in when blond, vibrant young Stella Reeve is found drowned under a treacherous footbridge in the tiny village of Wynford. The evidence suggests accident, but Rudd is not convinced. The girl was returning from a platonic visit to a village newcomer, middle-aged rebel Alec Law, son, just separated from wife and son. Lawson had attracted a previous visit from restless, bored Madge Bingham, the local doctor's wife, who'd been put off by his air of amused superiority. But there were others near the scene on the fateful night--macho, sullen Ken Reeve, Stella's about-to-be ex-husband; the Bingham's gardener Reg Bartlett, who cared for Stella in a fatherly way, and Lawson's estranged wife Joanna, vaguely looking for evidence of Alec's adultery. It takes an elaborate, minutely timed reconstruction of events to resolve the Inspector's doubts, but the reader may wonder if it's all worth the trouble. Sharply observed psychological tensions and interplay are the best of this phlegmatic exercise--far from Thomson's best.