When a severed leg is found on the banks of the Thames, Dr George Barnabas, female forensic pathologist and determined investigator, is summoned to the macabre scene. But with sign of the rest of the body, she cant say how the man died. Her next case is equally bizarre: a terribly burned woman in a first-floor flat - and the fireman thinks the fire started in the body itself. George, despite budget battles with the hospital boards and squabbles among her lab staff, desperately wants to pursue these with the local Detective Chief Inspector - her lover, Gus Hathaway - but he has been so tied up on ather big case that she has barely seen him for a month. George has to suppress a guilty flash of relief that he must surely return to his own patch w and run the investigation. But he does t, and his deputy wont let her near the case. George, frustrated but feisty as ever, can only puzzle: is the arson victim linked to the missing body? Only when Gus himself gets into trouble can she at last begin to delve on his behalf. Soon she is on the trail of a crime more tortuous and criminals more dangerous than either she or Gus bargained for. This is the third of Claire Rayner's much praised mysteries featuring George Barnabas, w established as an exciting and engaging series from a master storyteller. The drama of life in hospital is interwoven with life on the streets and life on the beat in a tale that is compulsively clever and entirely readable.