"All around, for miles and miles in every direction, in streets and shops and houses, real life was going on, oblivious; but here a dead man sat, the full stop at the end of his own sentence, with a little still pocket of attention focused fiercely and minutely on him. Why him? And why here? Slider felt the questions attaching themselves to him like shackles, chaining him to this scene, to a well-known process of effort, worry and responsibility."
Detective Inspector Bill Slider returns in another thrilling mystery from the prolific pen of Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.
In the heart of Shepherd's Bush, London-Slider's patch-a groundskeeper discovers a well-dressed man seated on a children's swing. Problem is, the man is dead, a single, perfect stab-wound to the heart. Even more mysteriously, someone has clearly rummaged through the man's pockets-but left behind over a thousand pounds in cash.
Initial investigations confront a wall of silence, but this only fuels Slider and his team's determination to solve the case before it gets taken off their hands and they face failure on their own doorstep. The task is made no easier by Slider's qualms over his long-distance romance, or by Detective Superintendent Fred "The Syrup" Porson's mysterious absence from work for the first time in as long as Slider remembers.
As Slider unearths the victim's sordid lifestyle of debts, drugs, and dodgy deals, the trail leads the police through London's neighborhoods, from the seedy pubs of Shepherd's Bush through the brothels of Notting Hill to the mansions of Holland Park. As they probe deeper the body count rises and Slider suspects the machinations of a crime baron who will stop at nothing to keep his identity hidden.