Inspector James Carrick of the Bath police (Dressed to Kill, 1994, etc.) is in a spot of trouble: Found unconscious behind the wheel of his car after a Burns Night gala at the local hotel, he's confused and tests over the limit for a drink. But he has no memory of what happened: Instead of retiring to his hotel room after ably reciting Tam O'Shanter at the dinner, why did he get into his car- -to do what--go where? Is there some connection to the brutal murder of movie producer Marvin Gilcrist, whose body was discovered nearby on the following day? Carrick is soon out of hospital, memory still dysfunctional but at work on the Gilcrist murder with his unsympathetic superior, Terrington of Wemdale precinct, whose trumped-up evidence in a case of child murder was the subject of Gilcrist's best known film. Meanwhile, Carrick's p.i. girlfriend, Joanna Mackenzie, and the local rector's son, Patrick Gillard (Rook-Shoot, 1991, etc.), a government agent in the James Bond mold, are working to find out what really happened on the fateful night. Gilcrist's estranged wife Amanda and her latest toy boy come under suspicion, as do others, but the answer to Gilcrist's murder lies in Wemdale, whose police brass were to be the subject of the next exposÇ, and where Carrick's first visit almost proves to be his last--anywhere. There's yet another corpse to surface--this one tied to the explanation of Carrick's concussion and sudden hotel departure. Too many plotlines, corpses, beatings, and detectives in an overrich brew made readable only by the author's graceful style and command of local color.