A peaceful demonstration in the normally quiet town of Eastvale ended with fifty arrests—and the brutal stabbing death of a young constable. But Chief Inspector Alan Banks fears there is worse violence in the offing. For CID superintendent Richard "Dirty Dick" Burgess has arrived from London to take charge of the investigation, fueled by professional outrage and volatile, long-simmering hatreds.
Almost immediately, Burgess descends with vengeful fury upon the members of a sixties-style commune—while Banks sifts through the rich Yorkshire soil around him, turning over the earthy, unsettling secrets of seemingly placid local lives. Crossing "Dirty Dick" could cost the chief inspector his career. But the killing of a flawed Eastvale policeman is not the only murder that needs to be solved here. And if Banks doesn't unmask the true assassin, his superior's misguided obsession might well result in further bloodshed.