Still becalmed among the Brussels brass, veteran French cop Henri Castang is asked to make discreet inquiries into the death of his friend Eamonn Hickey, another functionary. Hickey's military father knows nothing; his estranged wife, Jane, reports only that she walked out on him when he brought one of his incessant women home -- just three weeks before he was shot down; and Margaret Rawlings, the British agent who accompanies Castang to an Alpine resort to investigate Hickey's rumored links to the IRA, is killed before she can share what she knows. It's not until Castang finds Coralie, the extraordinary young woman Jane had found in her home, that he realizes Hickey's connections weren't to the IRA but to a call-girl ring run by the glibly named Paul de Man and his sinister master Pedro de Subercaseaux. Yet all this doesn't explain why Hickey was killed; for that, Castang will have to turn to the wisdom of Dante, Mozart, Yeats -- and his redoubtable wife, Vera. Fascinating as it is to watch Freeling, the master of the continental roman policier, work out individual psychologies (as in Flanders Sky, 1992) in terms of national types, the mystery this time is a little too rickety for the portentous weight it's asked to bear.