After the hottest English summer in years, the wet autumn that follows brings little relief for Chief Superintendent Charmian Daniels, whose recent successes have earned her not just a promotion but also deep resentment from some of her colleagues. Now she must find the killer of Nella Fisher, a young woman whose unlikely connections extend to two friends of Charmian's, women Nella tried to bribe with information about a man intending to do them harm. The case is loaded with problems for Charmian, from her links to two possible suspects to her growing sense that police corruption may be involved. A lingering scent of cigar smoke, threatening letters, and a brush with death confirm Charmian's fear that she is the killer's real target, but can she unmask her enemy before it's too late? A complex, riveting mystery from one of the genre's most acclaimed writers.