It is DI Andy Horton's second day back in Portsmouth CID after being suspended for eight months. Whilst out running he stumbles over the naked battered body of a man on the beach. PC Evans has been stabbed the night before, the DCI is up before a promotion board and Sergeant Cantelli is having trouble with his fifteen year old daughter. But Horton's mind is on other things not least of which is trying to prove his innocence after being accused of rape. Beset by personal problems and aided by Cantelli, Horton sets out to find a killer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. As he gets closer to the truth he risks not only his career but also his life.