I Lynley and DS Havers investigate the murder of a forensic psychologist, Professor Dermot Finnegan, who was blown to bits with a car bomb. In his profession, he has done much work for the police and the list of those seeking revenge is endless. In his home village, Noel Shakespeare's daughter was imprisoned for killing her abusive husband and he has campaigned relentlessly to get her a new trial. Then there is Peter Stephanopoulos who also served 10 years largely on Finnegan's testimony but has now been released. Complicating matters is the fact that Finnegan was also a ladies man having had several affairs and ex-wife who shows up at his funeral. Lynley is surprised when he learns that his wife Helen also worked with. The case takes on a very personal slant for Lynley when someone takes a shot at Helen and she is severely injured.

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