Two separate police investigations take place in Portsmouth at the same time. DI Joe Faraday is called over to the Isle of Wight to investigate the headless body found washed up at the base of a cliff. Suspicion falls on an ex-soldier who runs a nursing home, a man with a dangerous reputation.
DC Paul Winter becomes involved with a callgirl who has ties to a prominent businessman, who won’t take no for an answer. Winter’s poor judgement may be due to the crippling headaches he’s developed of late.
Hurley has written a police procedural that is both well-plotted and character-driven. Joe Faraday is believably solid and competent with interesting quirks. Paul Winter has sailed too close to the wind for years and is coming apart.