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Ian Rutledge is hoping for some time off from his duties at Scotland Yard but Chief Superintendent Bowles is having none of it. Bowles insists that Rutledge is needed to help on the investigation of the Green Park murders. That assignment is not to last long though.
Stephen Mallory is an acquaintance from the war and one that Rutledge doesn't like or trust. When an urgent message comes from the small harbor town of Hampton Regis requesting that Rutledge appear there immediately Rutledge has no choice but to respond.
Matthew Hamilton had been found beaten and near death. It was well known in the village that Stephen Mallory was in love with Felicity, Hamilton's young wife. When the local police officer came to question Mallory he ran away. Mallory went straight to Hamilton's home and had locked himself inside with Felicity and the maid. Mallory insisted he would talk to no one but Ian Rutledge.
Although reluctant Rutledge traveled immediately to Hampton Regis and before he could take steps to try to get to the bottom of who attacked Hamilton and what part if any Mallory played in the attack more incidents began happening and Hampton Regis was not the safest place to be for anyone.
Hamish is, as always, riding in the back seat of the car or the back of Rutledge's mind urging him on as he investigates.