Simpson's ( Suspicious Death ) mastery of the police procedural will again dazzle devotees as she sends Inspector Luke Thanet of Sturrenden CID out on his ninth investigation. After an absence of more than 20 years, Leo Martindale returns to his ancestral estate, Longford Hall, to claim his inheritance, only to find that his sister and her husband have converted his home to a country hotel. Two days later, Martindale is found dead in a snow-covered ditch, apparently a hit-and-run victim. Clues suggesting murder lead Inspector Thanet to the Longford estate, where he compiles a list of suspects, all with reason for wishing Martindale dead, and, more importantly, all with opportunity to kill him. While struggling with a web of dark, twisting secrets, Thanet must cope simultaneously with his teenaged daughter Bridget and with his new superior. Skillfully plotted, replete with vivid characters, this mystery is a page turner to the end. Yet once more it's the likable and humane Inspector, and the glimpse into his family life, that gives the novel its rewarding texture. Simpson gets better and better.