A black plastic bag found in a gas company trench and containing the skeleton of a Cavalier from the English Civil War is no more than a distraction from the daily grind for Chief Inspector Steve Winwood. But another skeleton discovered amongst the water pipes servicing the town square fountain means that a case of a villain’s disappearance from thirty years previous has to be re-opened.
Winwood was a fresh faced Detective Constable at the time who was assigned to a team to track down Ray Radford, the body under the fountain, suspected of the murder of his business partner John Kennedy.
The case led to suspicions of corruption within the local police force and the imprisonment of a Council official for accepting bribes. There was nothing proved at the time but the discovery of Radford means that the mistakes made thirty years ago by the police team have to be re-examined and old wounds re-opened.
Winwood has to revisit the past and try to uncover the truth behind a double murder. Many of the town’s workers lived in fear of Radford and few are willing to speak against him then and now.
The facts and evidence of the original investigation are re-examined, people still alive who remember the case interviewed again and the past uncovered, despite the hurt it causes. Winwood is no closer to a solution and fears that his career and that of his superiors could be ended by the failures of the past and his inability to solve then now
Forensic examination of the three hundred year old skeleton offers an unusual clue to the other two murders but not before another victim from the old days is attacked and left for dead.