In her most gripping mystery yet, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles returns readers to the streets of London and the ever-struggling Detective Inspector Bill Slider. When the body of Phoebe Agnew, radical left-wing journalist, champion of the underdog, and prominent critic of the police force, is discovered, Inspector Slider must put aside any personal feelings for the victim and find her killer.
One of the first clues Slider finds is that on the day of her death the horribly undomesticated Agnew cooked an elaborate meal for someone. Was it her old friend and reputed lover, Josh Prentiss? Slider tries to pursue that angle, but since Prentiss is a Government advisor, the pressure is on Slider to look elsewhere.
There are plenty anomalies for him to chase: unidentified fingerprints, the object used to strangle Agnew is missing, alibis offered where none are required, the downstairs tenant lying about his whereabouts, and papers missing from Agnew's file. As Slider struggles to untangle the web of lies and hidden relationships, his task is made harder by the strange behavior of his friend and colleague, Atherton, who seems to be on the verge of a breakdown.
Tightly plotted and full of fascinating characters, Slider searches to find the key to Agnew's chillingly lonely life, but will he find it in time to prevent further tragedy?