When a butterfly flaps its wings in Fordhamton a hurricane happens in New England.
Alan Price, local Councillor, local businessman and Chairman of the Football Club is found dead in a hotel room from a heart attack brought on by a truth drug slipped into his drink.
The female suspect with whom he had lunch and then disappeared is later discovered to be a MI5 agent, codenamed Kaos.
Detective Sergeant Miles Davis is assigned to Detective Chief Inspector Winwood’s but does not share his love of strong coffee and strong local ale, but Davis has a knowledge of the financial world upon which Winwood has to rely on more and more.
The two detectives interview everyone in the town of Fordhamton who had a connection with Price. No one liked him although few had any real motive to want him dead and only one had reason to mourn his passing.
Then a CIA agent is found dead in his car parked outside Price’s factory with a full can of petrol in the boot. It appears that he intended to burn both the factory and the stock.
Winwood narrows suspects down to what he calls the Famous Five – ex-wife, best friend, lover, factory manager and the Bank Manager. He believes that there is a conspiracy against Price but no strong evidence that it actually exists.
It is Davis’ knowledge of the financial markets that leads to understanding why Price’s export order was of so much interest to the English and American secret services. That and Winwood’s mistrust of all things theatrical which uncovers the connection between Kaos, the Famous Five and the real motive for the secret services to be so active in a small part of the English countryside.
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