Pascoe is rushed to hospital with serious injuries following a car crash, and slips into a coma. Dalziel keeps a vigil at his bedside and realises just how much his partner means to him.
Meanwhile, when a local fisherman reels in a gruesome catch â€“ a human foot â€“ and police divers discover other body parts amongst illegally dumped waste in a nearby lake, Dalziel finds himself at the centre of a potential murder enquiry.
As the case unravels, Dalziel discovers an uneasy relationship between Wetherton's leading hospital physician, Dr McKenzie Mansfield, and neurology consultant Mr Alisdair Collinson, not to mention a snake pit of political wranglings with local business tycoon, and the main source of the hospital's funding, Barry Jemmerson.
Dalziel finds himself torn between trying to cope with Pascoe's continuing deterioration and his duty as a policeman to throw himself into this very intricate and gruesome case.
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