The author's penchant for bizarre plot and terse style (Cruel Victim, etc.) is less than successful in this new story, again with London P.I. John Samson. Samson's client this time is big-game hunter Paul Phelan, who once hunted unthinkingly for profit but has become something of a conservationist, trapping only rare species on the verge of extinction, for zoos. In the wake of a TV interview, he's dragged and captured in the middle of London by a tiny extremist animal-rights group headed by Maxine Eastbank, owner of a brothel specializing in sado-masochism. In the torture chamber of her house, after two days of misery and humiliation, he's able to inflict some damage on Maxine, is drugged again, wakes in a wooded area near the city, and eventually hires Samson to find his tormentors. When Maxine's body is found in the same small forest, Samson then bends his efforts to finding her killer before Phelan's involvement becomes known to the police--he also manages to stay a step ahead of Detective Inspector Cook and wrap up the case for him. After a striking beginning, the plot becomes static and dull; Phelan is a charmless clod, and Samson's sleuthing is dogged but routine. Totally unmemorable.