Ash Henderson, a former DI, is in jail after having been framed by his archenemy, Mrs. Kerrigan. He comes up for parole every six months, only to be turned down because she instigates a fight between him and two thugs. Then he is rescued by a Detective Superintendent heading a special squad investigating a perpetrator, now resurfaced after several years’ hiatus, whose MO is that he cuts nurses' stomachs open and inserts a plastic doll simulating a pregnancy. The reason for his release: Ash came closest to capturing the man years before, but lost him in a crowded railroad station.
So much for the plot, which teams Ash once again with forensic psychologist Dr. Alice McDonald. The rest is basic fine writing and character description as the police fumble in an effort to find The Inside Man, and Ash and Alice go their own way following one idea or another while trying to avoid any damage to themselves or the victims now held by the perpetrator.
This is the second in the Ash Henderson series and, like the initial entry, is craftily written. Henderson is quite a character, not averse to seeking justice by his own means or constructing a scenario which results in the same end. Such outcomes include revenge, so the subplot involving Mrs. Kerrigan provides some unusual goings-on. The whole mystery is tied together in a manner that leaves the reader’s mind spinning as Ash brings each clue into focus.