DI Charlie Priest is on gardening leave - the neighbours have complained about his weeds - when the call comes. Ghislaine Curzon, girlfriend of one of the royal princes, is in Heckley to open the Curzon Centre, a new shopping mall and conference facility. But as she reveals the commemorative plaque it looks like someone has got to it first, defacing it with a single obscene word in foot-high red letters. The visiting dignitaries are aghast and the chief constable insists on Charlie investigating the case. When the mayor of Heckley and driving force behind the construction of the controversial new mall is found murdered, killed by a single shot to the head, the investigation takes a deadly turn. It's going to take more than standard police procedure to crack this case.