In this, his third adventure, Sid Halley is still in his mid-thirties, still troubled, courageous and unwilling to admit defeat. He uncovers a crime by a friend whom he - and everyone else - has held in affection.
Levity aside, I am predisposed to like and of Francis' books about Halley, and there are things I like here. I like Sid having a chance to develop relationships with some people and having a chance to genuinely love, as he does with the little girl with leukemia here. I also really want him to have a satisfying relationship, and he seems to be interested in that, although I don't think the love interest in this one is as pleansant or as good a prospect as in Whiphand.
However, as some other reviewers have noted, this seems to be a rather mean-spirited book. I don't understand why the handsome man who appears to have everything stoops to mutilating horses, and I don't understand what the fundamental message about human nature is here. I think Francis was really trying to say something profound here, but I can't get to it. I was left feeling like I missed something important, and it made me frustrated and sad.