Another lively, literate outing for wily, once-disbarred lawyer Lennox Kemp (Hang the Consequences, etc.), who's on holiday in Cornwall with friend Penelope Marsden. By coincidence, the wife and small son of businessman Vincent Shape, a recent client of Kemp's, are also vacationing in the vicinity--at Greystones, Mirabel Snape's childhood home, occupied but not owned by her aunt Susan Trevanion. Mirabel, described by her husband as recovering from a nervous breakdown, seems to be in the throes of an affair with Robin Adair, a poor but charismatic artist-teacher, and drinking more than is good for her. At the same time, there's much local gossip about the disappearance of local fisherman Steve Donray. When his severed head is hauled out of the sea, Mirabel collapses and--in the wake of her take-charge husband's arrival--is rushed to nearby Respite hospital, an expensive psychiatric facility. Tamsin Yago, her son's spunky young nurse, is dismissed, and Adair is nowhere to be found. By the time Kemp, fired by a haunting attraction to Mirabel, has bulldozed her out of the hospital, the police have honed in on a drug-smuggling ring; but Kemp manages to thwart a more insidious scheme--one with some surprising accomplices. A bit too much coincidence won't spoil the reader's enjoyment of solidly drawn characters, a lyrical picture of the Cornish coast, or the sensitive treatment of Kemp and Penelope's emotional dilemma. A well-paced, polished performance.