Three times DCI Pascoe has wrongly accused dead-pan joker Franny Roote. This time he's determined to leave no gravestone unturned as lie tries to prove that the ex-con and aspiring academic is mad, bad and dangerous to know. Meanwhile Edgar Wield rides to the rescue of a child in danger, only to find he's got a rent-boy with a priceless secret under his wing. DC Bowler is looking forward to a blissful New Year with the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, her dreams are filied with a horror too terrible to tell... And over all this activity broods the huge form of DS Andy Dalziel. As trouble builds, the Fat Man discovers (as many deities before him) that omniscience can be more trouble than it's worth.