When a 21-year-old racist is beaten to death in an alley near a pub, it is thought the work of three local Asian-Brits. But the investigation by Banks and DC Susan Grey leads in a different direction. The head of the white-power group with which the victim is affiliated is into more than just hate politics, and the young man has run afoul of desires that have nothing to do with race. Banks pursues his investigation while his wife is ending their 20-year marriage, making it so much more fun for him. Susan has the hots for Banks but keeps it to herself. Banks’ personal life includes having lunch with a musician lady-friend. Susan is betrayed by her boyfriend, who is pumping her for information on Banks and then forwarding it to their boss, Riddle.