Havers: [sitting down to eat toast with Lynley] They were perfectly clean, you know, my knickers.
Lynley: [gallantly] I don't know what you're talking about, Detective Sergeant.Famous cricketer Kenneth Waring dies of asphyxiation when the cottage he was staying in is lit ablaze. His lover and agent, Gabriella Patten, disappears the next day. Among those devastated by Waring's death are Jeannie, his estranged wife, and Miriam Whitelaw, his wealthy patroness. Also shaken by the news is Miriam's rebellious daughter, Olivia, who works as an animal rights activist and part-time prostitute, and lives in the company of serial arsonist Chris Faraday.The case seems at a close when Waring's 16-year-old son, Jimmy Waring, confesses to his father's murder. Lynley, however, doesn't buy into this. He is convinced that Jimmy is only confessing to protect someone. But by refusing to arrest Jimmy, Lynley is going against the professional opinion of his profiler/Love Interest Helen Clyde, who isn't taking it very well. Lynley and Havers attempt to make sense of the situation, as Havers settles into her new home and neighbourhood.