This is a re-read. I remembered why the hands were cut but didn't remember who did it and why. I liked the awkwardness of Dalgliesh, his not quite envy but definitely uneasiness at not being in charge of the investigation. Still, in the end, he solves the puzzle and puts one up the poor inspector who tried really hard to solve it first. The cast of characters are mostly caricatures and not very interesting. They are more like chess pieces than fully developed persons. The ending is rushed and very deus ex machina and a very cliché trope to our 21th century eyes.