Caught in the blast of a huge Semtex explosion, the only things preventing Superintendent Andy Dalziel from stepping through Death's door might be his own size and indomitable willpower. As he lies on a hospital bed, it falls on DCI Peter Pascoe to seek justice for Andy. The security services have written it off as an accident: the terrorist suspects have paid for their clumsiness with their lives. Who, then, are the Knights Templar, a shadowy group exacting summary public justice on their enemies? Pascoe is certain of a conspiracy and the attempted murder of Yorkshire Police's most inept officer only convinces him further.