When Detective Inspector Mike Yeadings of the Thames Valley Serious Crime Squad learns of the death in Prague of friend Howard Swaffham, former intelligence agent, he contacts the man's daughter, who just happens to have a pre-demise letter for him from her father. As he looks into Swaffham's death, he finds ties to a murder case involving a 16-year-old girl. Events become more and more darkly intriguing as elements of the two cases coalesce. Familial interplay between Yeadings and wife Nan grounds the whole in reality and provides telling contrast to the secretive, more austere intelligence world. Finely tuned prose, ample diversion, and believable plot from a practiced writer new to Crime Club.