Murder, intrigue and local politics leave Dalziel and Pascoe confused as to who is responsible for the mounting death toll in a seemingly sleepy and quiet village.
There is a conflict of the old and the new as a proposed site for a new road bypass is allowed to be excavated by a team of archaeologists from the local university. It's a race against time for Dr Rix's archaeological team to find what she believes should be the ancient site of Queen Cartimandua's burial, before the road builders arrive and cover the whole area with tarmac for good.
But when the site becomes a crime scene it is closed to both the dig and the builders, causing friction between the two groups. After a fight, the site is destroyed and with it any police evidence.
However, when one of the builders is discovered dead in his caravan the finger of suspicion points to a local criminal, who Dalziel helped convict years previously for a particularly vicious murder....
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