In the dark days of the war on terror, only one man can be counted on to fight injustice, defend the innocent, and insist on a fair and decent trial for all, contrary to New Labour's new anti-terrorism laws. Rumpole's wig may be yellowing at the roots, his gown might be in tatters, but the oldest inhabitant of 4 Equity Court has no use for the word 'retirement'.
There's the larcenous Timson family to defend, suicide bombers to dodge, Pommeroy's Wine Bar to frequent, and the financing of the Rumpole household - with Hilda's indulgence in luxury cleaning products - to look after. But when the beautiful Tiffany Timson's husband is arrested on suspicion of terrorism, Rumpole prepares to drop everything and take on his biggest challenge yet.
Horrified to learn that the accused doesn't even know what he's charged with, he determines to insist upon a fair trial for the Pakistani doctor. But battling against the new legislation, and the slippery Home Secretary, proves a tricky task. And when She Who Must Be Obeyed starts locking herself in the box room, 'minding her own business', Rumpole finds himself losing the plot, clueless about the goings on, even in his own mansion flat. Is the Anglophile doctor really an Al Qaeda agent? Will Rumpole discover Hilda's secret before it's too late? Will the Timson family ever forgive him for defending a 'terrorist'?