‘It’s quiet out there,’ says DS Atherton, at Bill Slider’s office window. ‘Too quiet.’ Right on cue, the phone rings. ‘Now look what you’ve done,’ says Slider. It’s a homicide. The post-Christmas lull is officially over.
The deceased is antiques expert Rowland Egerton, the darling of daytime TV, stabbed to death in his luxurious West London home. The press are going to be all over this one like a nasty rash: the pressure’s on Slider for a result, and soon.
Egerton’s partner, the bulky, granite-faced John Lavender, found the body; did he also do the deed? Or was it a burglary gone wrong? A missing Fabergé box and Impressionist painting point that way. But as Slider and his team investigate, none of the facts seem to fit. And it soon becomes clear that the much-loved, charming Mr Egerton wasn’t as universally loved, or perhaps as charming, as Slider was first led to believe . . .