Why would a woman who runs a corner shop in South Manchester be shot dead in cold blood in apparently contract killing? Who could she have offended so much that they wanted her out of the way permanently? And what's happened to her partner? They're supposed to be inseperable but she hasn't been seen at all on the day of the killing and has disappeared.
DSI Jeff Barton and his team, including newcomer Louisa Pilkington who joins as a civilian member but who holds a pretty big secret of her own, begin to unravel a complicated trail in pursuit of a killer who brings a touch of espionage and the Cold war into the investigation. More murders put the pressure on Jeff to find a way through and see what's really going on and apprehend a determined killer.