No-one liked Jake Kinsey. A rich man, he turned up out of nowhere, acquired Exmouth’s trophy penthouse flat and then bought his way into the local rowing club. No friends, not much of a rower, not a nice guy. And now, after a long fall from balcony, he’s dead.
D/I Joe Faraday is dead. His colleagues, led by D/S Jimmy Suttle, gather for his funeral at Porchester Crematorium. The sole surviving member of Faraday’s family is his deaf-mute son, Joe Junior. At the packed service, Suttle reads Faraday’s favourite poem while J-J enacts a dance from his youth.
A car accident during a holiday in the Middle East lands Faraday in a hospital packed with the maimed from Gaza, where he embarks on a wild scheme to adopt a horribly burned Palestinian girl.
Portsmouth is a city on the ropes, a poor, dirty but spirited city, with a soaring crime rate. And it is home for DI Joe Faraday. Now Emma Maloney's dad has gone missing. Faraday thinks he may have been murdered. But these days, a hunch is not enough.
DI Joe Faraday's Management Assistant, Vanessa Parry, is dead, killed in a head-on car smash. Her funeral is a bitter end to another grim week in the front line of the ongoing war against Portsmouth's surging crimewave.