Patrick Gillard and his wife, Ingrid Langley, take on what may be their most difficult and dangerous case.
When Richard George Rowallen, 14th Earl of Hartwood, "one-time army colonel, ex-MI5, a senior official of the National Crime Agency," is murdered along with his minder, Patrick vows to find the killers. Patrick and Ingrid have long worked as advisers and consultants to the NCA (Ashes to Ashes, 2015, etc.), but rarely has Patrick become so obsessed with finding the truth as in the death of the old friend who was professionally known as Richard Daws. Trouble arrives in the person of bossy Marcia Lindersland, who’s temporarily taken Daws’ place. Patrick earns her enmity when he ignores her orders and continues his search, which he thinks may involve an old enemy recently released from prison. Nicholas Haldane, a crooked former civil servant, had tried in the past to get both Daws and Patrick killed or disgraced. Patrick and Ingrid end up spending considerable time at Hartwood Castle, where the earl’s wife may be in danger from Haldane and his minions, two of them perhaps pretending to be an American who claims to be the earl's heir and his lawyer. Although there are plenty of clues in the present, there are also links to the past that must be explored before the complicated case can be closed.
Nonstop action and tangled clues make this one of the best cases for the seldom daunted husband-and-wife team.