Another absorbing journey to Lavenstock, the town in England where low-keyed Detective Superintendent Gil Mayo and his team (A Death of Distinction, p. 303, etc.) are trying to identify the bludgeoned body of a man found in Ellington Close, a small, tight-knit community of old and newer houses. Dermot Voss, a recent widower in the film and video business, has just bought Edwina Lodge, a large place that combines living quarters with apartments for three tenants. Sarah, his late wife Lisa’s sister, has come to help Dermot and his two young daughters settle in. Morning newspapers are delivered to Edwina Lodge by teenager Patti Ryman, who also services nearby Simla, home of the Kendricks—teacher Hope, her twin brother Francis, a writer, and their visiting sister Imogen Loxley. An abandoned car found in the village finally identifies the dead man as Philip Ensor, a sales rep supposedly away on business, who lived in Solihull with wife Judith but once lived in the same town as the Vosses. As Mayo tries to make sense of Ensor’s presence in the Close, little Patti Ryman is found dead, killed by a blow to the head. Is there a connection to the unsolved murders of two young girls in neighboring Hurstfield Division, or had Patti seen Ensor’s killer? It takes a while, but Mayo finally uncovers the crucial links that reveal the truth. The author’s subtle development of a wide range of characters and the relationships among them produce the tensions and suspense that propel the story—one most readers will find fascinating to the finish.