When a man is found in the middle of Alfreton Road in the early hours one Sunday morning, stark naked and bleeding heavily from a chest wound, he is the latest in a series of viscous attacks on men.
Enquiries in the mean-streets of Nottingham's red-light district have brought the investigations to a dead end.
Charlie Resnick is the man for the job. And as if he hasn't had enough to deal with, he now has to provide police protection for a celebrity at the annual crime convention - an author with some very unpleasant 'fan' mail.
Chronically short-staffed as he is, it's a guessing game as to when Resnick's lack of manpower will have fatal consequences.
John Harvey is the author of the richly praised Charlie Resnick novels, the first of which, Lonely Hearts, was named by The Times as one of the '100 Best Crime Novels of the Century'. His first novel featuring Frank Elder, Flesh and Blood, won the CWA Silver Dagger in 2004, and a Barry Award for the Best British Crime Novel published in the US in 2004. In 2007 John Harvey was awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger and in 2009 he was awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Letters, by the University of Nottingham. To find out more about John Harvey visit his website at: www.mellotone.co.uk