Caught in the full blast of a huge explosion, Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel lies on a hospital bed, with only a life support system and his indomitable will between him and the Great Beyond. His colleague, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Pascoe, is determined to bring those responsible to justice. Pascoe suspects a group called The Templars, and the deeper he digs, the more certain he is that The Templars are getting help from within the police force. The plot is complex, the pace fast, the jokes furious, the action explosive, the characterization vivid, and the climax astounding. And above it all, like a huge dirigible threatening to break from its moorings, hovers the disembodied spirit of Andy Dalziel.