In Jonathan Lewis's second novel, Ned Bale, Scotland Yard's cleverest detective, is landed with a murder which rapidly turns out to be more of an intrigue. From the outset of this fast-paced thriller, we are sent on the wrong track. Ned sees the Minister of Defence blown up outside his Welsh weekend home by an IED which leaves clues of its Afghan origin. But has it been placed by a jihadi, a disgruntled squaddie (as the secret service suggests), or is there a more complicated explanation? And what in the world is Ned to make of the fragment containing the fingerprint of his former colleague and lover, the gorgeous "Dog Tart", Kate Baker, now on tour in Afghanistan sniffing out unexploded bombs? Lewis has a wonderful eye for detail - the specification of the bomber's get-away vehicle; a tense episode in which Kate defuses a bomb while Ned observes from the ops centre; the paraphernalia of Afghan army bases, hurly-burly of its cities and beauty of its countryside; as well as a keen ear for language - the secret poetry of Afghan women and the interior ambiguities of the novel's key characters. And at the story's climax, Lewis's taut plotting brings Bale and Baker to a bad place where they must find their way through treachery of every kind - intimate, military and political.