When a man is found in the middle of Alfreton Road in the early hours one Sunday morning, stark naked and bleeding heavily from a chest wound, he is the latest in a series of viscous attacks on men.
Enquiries in the mean-streets of Nottingham's red-light district have brought the investigations to a dead end.
Charlie Resnick is the man for the job. And as if he hasn't had enough to deal with, he now has to provide police protection for a celebrity at the annual crime convention - an author with some very unpleasant 'fan' mail.
Chronically short-staffed as he is, it's a guessing game as to when Resnick's lack of manpower will have fatal consequences.