Lynley: [trying to comfort Havers] Sometimes people let you down.
Balford, Essex: Hatham Qureshi, a man of Pakistani-origin, is found dead on the beach. It appears that he fell to his death from the high embankment, but inexplicably, his body was found inside a folly on the beach, some 50 metres from where he would have fallen.
With Lynley away on his honeymoon, Havers is on leave from the police force, doing nothing better than entertaining her young neighbour Hadiyyah. When she learns that Hadiyyah's father, Azhar Taymullah, will be going to Balford with Hadiyyah, Havers decides to try and get on to the case for an excuse for being at Balford. She rings up DI Emily Barlow, a former colleague who is in charge of the Qureshi investigation, and is welcomed on board.
Through her investigation, Havers learns that Qureshi was a homosexual. He was nonetheless engaged to Shala Malik, the daughter of prominent businessman Akram Malik. It seems that several members of the Malik family had a motive to kill Qureshi. Shala's brother, Muneer, resented Qureshi because he was afraid that Qureshi would inherit Akram Malik's business. Muneer's wife, Yumna, is fiercely devoted to her husband and would do anything to help him succeed.
In the meantime, Havers' plans to carry out a successful investigation on her own are jeopardised when Lynley unexpectedly appears at Balford, after cutting short his honeymoon. Havers is also repeatedly frustrated by DI Barlow's high-handed method of investigation. Barlow is determined to show that Qureshi was murdered by Muneer. Havers thinks that the evidence doesn't necessarily add up to that conclusion. Another bone of contention is Azhar, who is related to the Maliks and therefore a suspect in Barlow's eyes, whereas to Havers, he is rapidly becoming more than just an acquaintance.
Havers finds herself in a precarious position: to follow her instinct and risk her career, or to obey her superior's instructions and risk injustice, not to mention alienating a new-found friend.
- Arranged Marriage: Discussed. To Havers, the idea of an arranged marriage being binding or even affectionate is counter-intuitive. Lynley, on the other hand, is quickly able to draw an analogy between arranged marriages and marriage contracts, which is the source of his hereditary wealth.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted with DI Barlow. She actually needs a skin graft at the end.
- Big Damn Heroes: Lynley jumps into the English Channel from a yacht moving at full speed to save Hadiyyah from drowning, with one functional arm.
- Bitch Alert: The script writers make no attempt to conceal that Yumna is one nasty piece of work. We first see her snapping at Shala's friend, then treating Shala like a servant, and then getting an unconcealed look of glee on her face when she realises that Shala is pregnant.
- Broken Pedestal: DI Emily Barlow was everything Havers ever wanted to be. She ain't anymore.
- Chase Scene: There's one Big Heroic Run, complete with Roofhopping. It doesn't end very well for Lynley.
- Cheerful Child: Hadiyyah, to the point of having a perpetual smile across her face. Her extreme innocence also makes her a Horrible Judge of Character, leading to near-fatal consequences.
- Everything Is Racist: Muneer seems to think this, especially when it's convenient for him to criticise the integrity of the investigation on the grounds of prejudice. He won't answer Havers' simple, polite questions about where he was at the time of Qureshi's death.
- Friendship Moment: Lynley might be favourably impressed by DI Barlow's charming persona and competence, but he is not impressed when she puts Havers down, and quick to make this clear.
- Holding Hands: Havers and Azhar at the end.
- Inscrutable Oriental: Azhar's expression is remarkably unvarying, although he does get some Character Development.
- Joggers Find Death: Once again in ILM, the body is discovered by a jogger. Or more precisely, by his dog.
- My Sister Is Off Limits: Muneer. He wants her for himself.
- Not What It Looks Like: Lynley looks rather pointedly at Havers when he sees her emerge from the same hotel room as Azhar at night. Havers is quick to tell Lynley to "wipe that leer off (his) face." It was business, not pleasure.
- Redundant Rescue: Didn't you hear, Azhar? Havers doesn't need rescuing.
- Revenge Before Reason: DI Barlow is prepared to let a child die in pursuit of her bastard ex-boyfriend.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Barbara has a hard choice to make in the climax of the episode. She barely has to think twice.
- Written-In Absence: Helen is away visiting her long-suffering sister. This isn't the first time, and thankfully, it won't be the last.