The twenty-first entry in this long-running series pits Chief Inspector Alan Banks against his own superiors as well as a clever killer and a group of reluctant witnesses.
The body of a man who is obviously down and out is found under a bridge near an abandoned railway line. He has all the hallmarks of a man who is virtually homeless, save for the fact that he's got five thousand pounds in his pocket.
It turns out that the victim, Gavin Miller, was once a college professor who was forced out of his position after allegations of sexual misconduct. He's been on the skids ever since. Banks and his subordinates discover that, in his youth as a college student, Miller was connected to people who have now moved into the upper crust of British society. The evidence suggest that some of these people may have played a role in Miller's death, but when Banks asks these people some relatively innocuous questions, they complain and his supervisors warn him off and tell him to look elsewhere for his suspects.
Well, what's a copper to do? If you're Alan Banks, of course, you're going to follow the trail wherever it might lead you and if that gets you into trouble, so be it. While his supervisors insist that Miller's death probably had something to do with drug dealing, Banks becomes increasingly convinced that the real cause of his murder stems back to things that happened years earlier.
The case takes a lot of interesting twists and turns and in the meantime, of course, Banks will listen to a lot of music, much of it from his own days as a younger person. But in the end, of course, truth will out and this turns out to be another very good addition to this series.