Another chapter, not as compelling as the first (A Certain Blindness, 1981), in the life of Eric Ward, a 40-ish solicitor driven from the police force by failing eyesight. Eric now faces a risky operation; he's still resisting a serious relationship with young heiress Anne Morcombe. And he's representing Jack Saxby--son of Amos, brother of Colin and Sam--in his efforts to keep the farm he thought he had been given by his mother. Most of the novel, then, concerns Eric's attempt to find the reason for the vindictiveness of Jack's old father Amos (who has suddenly come up with a legal move to keep the farm for himself). But though Jack is murdered and the family's dirty linen gets an airing, there's more emphasis on dullish legal ramifications than detection/suspense here--and only readers who are firmly engaged by Eric himself (who's far more interesting than the unappealing Saxbys) will see this rather stodgy episode through to its mild conclusion.