George Hennessey has always been proud of being Detective Chief Inspector at Micklegate Bar Police Station in the Vale of York. Until, that is, the body of ambitious newshound Cornelius Weekes is discovered, and what at first looks like a cut-and-dried case of suicide soon opens up a gruesome can of worms. But with the help of his faithful right-hand man, Detective Sergeant Yellich, London-born Hennessey is quick to get to the bottom of things. And eventually one apparent suicide leads to a whole host of unsolved deaths from the past: the murder of a mentally ill woman from a rich family, the bloody slaughter of another go-get-it journalist and the untimely end of a young man haunted by something just too murky for words. Hennessey and Yellich have their work cut out but, once they unravel the mysteries surrounding a wrongful conviction of a woman imprisoned for shooting dead her 'love rival', the pair start to see a frightening theme of corruption and greed emerge.