Manchester may be the Queen of all cities in the north of England, but it's down on its luck and starting to show its age. The place failed to get any traction in its efforts to become the site of the next Olympic Games and jobs and industry are being lost in their droves. The only hope in the darkness of this disaster seems to be the bright young hopeful, the new Member of Parliament for North Manchester, yes, it's Bill Cantion, a man who is hanging his hat on an attempt to get guns outlawed.
Meanwhile Mickey has been asked to help an old pal with his battle against ruthless property developers. This seems at first to be a completely different battle, but then, to Mickey's surprise, he realises that all the forces at work in the city of Manchester are linked. Despite himself, he can't help but become involved, and this leads him into direct conflict with an old adversary, the Leader of Manchester City Council.
If only Mickey could keep out of romantic entanglements, but a girl he used to know called Loreanne comes back into his life, as well as a youngster he would rather avoid. It means Mickey has no emotional support in the crises that develop, no reliable friends, no helpers he can count on. As Manchester hots up, and it becomes increasingly difficult for a man of honour to make an honest living in the febrile atmosphere, Mickey finds himself absolutely and alarmingly alone.