This is a re-read of book 5 of one of my favorite mystery series (the other books are in boxes somewhere). Despite its age (published in 1959), it has stood the test of time for me, as I discovered it in the 90's and was immediately hooked. It is one of the best police procedural series I have come across. In this fifth book of the series Commander George Gideon of Scotland Yard is faced with a government mandate to cut expenses at a time when they are already short-staffed and faced with an increase in the crime rate. Unlike most thrillers, Gideon does not face just one case at a time - Marric (a pseudonym for John Creasey) shows how a police department juggles the many myriad cases it has to deal with, and Gideon's biggest current problem besides the budget cuts is a serial child killer. In many cases this reads like a TV series as not all cases may be solved by the end of the book, and is entirely character-driven. If you enjoy deft in-depth characterization, try this oldie but goodie. I enjoyed it as much as I first did over 10 years ago.