One February evening in northern England, a young woman is shot in the head and left in a coma. Eight months later she dies, thus becoming a welcome excuse to dispatch the odious Inspector Dover as far as possible from London. It soon appears that Isobel Slatcher could have been smothered in her hospital bed with a pillow. Now Dover may have two murderers to catch: one who pulled the trigger, the other the last visitor she had in her short lifetime. If, that is, the town's warring Catholics and Protestants will only stop distracting him.