Shades of Blount and Burgess glimmer in--of all places- -Canterbury Cathedral, when ex-Intelligence agent Richard Harrison, now supervisor of the church's infrastructure (Diocesan Dilapidations Officer) is prevailed upon by Brigadier Greville, his one-time boss, to begin a secret investigation within the Cathedral's precincts. A new Archbishop is soon to be chosen; a leading candidate is Bishop Maurice Campion, whose outspoken liberal views are anathema in some powerful quarters. Greville thinks that there may be a sinister connection between Campion and the recent death of Canon Cratchley, and that the journals of the late Bishop Harvey Watson, Campion's close associate, may uncover a treacherous past. Harrison's wheelchair-bound wife Winnie is dismayed at this intrusion into their quiet lives, but Harrison stubbornly follows a confusing trail that lurches through a welter of red herrings, double-crosses and shocking revelations to its bleak conclusion. Echoes of le CarrÇ abound in this elegantly written, densely overplotted first novel--full of the ritual, pomp and underpinnings of the great cathedral. More clarity, simplicity, and economy might make the author's second even better.