In the village of Castle Farthing a mean-spirited, spiteful, curmudgeonly old man is found drugged and strangled in his cottage, with no obvious clues to the perpetrator of the crime. DI Falconer and Acting DS Carmichael are summoned from the police headquarters in the nearby town of Market Darley and begin to uncover a web of grudges against the old man. As the heat of July continues relentlessly, tempers flare, disturbing the usual rural calm of the village, and the normally imperturbable Harry Falconer. Faced with a crime with no obvious prime suspect, he feels that he is gradually losing his grip on the case as the body count rises...
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