Lavenstock’s Superintendent Gil Mayo (A Species of Revenge, 1998, etc.) has given his newly promoted Sergeant Abigail Moon a major role in the investigation of so-called financier Tim Wishart’s death’set up to look like suicide by shotgun but quickly pegged as murder by the postmortem pathologist. Abigail finds no shortage of suspects as she begins her probe. Wishart was deeply in debt. A chronic womanizer, he was having an affair with Ellie Redvers—his wife Clare’s best friend and partner with her in the catering firm called —Miller’s Wife.— Its business side was taken care of by Scottish accountant David Neale, but Barbie Nelson, who’d worked there until recently, had a long-standing grudge against Wishart. There are motives, too, in Wishart’s partnership with Tony Pardoe, owner of a large sailing vessel that makes frequent trips abroad. Even as Wishart’s body is cooling, Mayo and Frank Skellen of the Drug Squad have another problem more in Skellen’s line: the rundown house on the river left to Lucinda (Luce) Rimington by her grandfather, now a haven for feckless young drug users. Mayo and Skellen find Luce’s sudden disappearance ominous. Meantime, Abigail worries about the return to town of her onetime lover Nick Spalding—an ex-policeman who wants to start a detective agency. His death, after a brutal beating, helps point the way to saving Luce and to some crucial revelations. The connections among characters and episodes are as haphazard and unconvincing as this summary indicates throughout Eccles’s muddled saga, which is overstuffed with enough people and plots for half a dozen novels. A disappointment from a usually reliable source.