The man responsible for a series of crimes known as 'The Embankment Murders' is released from prison only to turn up dead in the River Thames less than twenty four hours later.
The case is revisited by Tracy, the Commander and his foster father but they soon find out that someone wants the past buried forever and will do almost anything to make sure it stays that way.
With the worst snow storm to hit London and the South East in many years raging all around them, we set off on a dangerous pursuit over ice, snow, road, rail and water.
First published in August of 2006, this entry in the series saw quite a lot of action scenes in it with the snow laden South Downs of Sussex, Trafalgar Square and the River Thames all featuring prominently.
We are also introduced for the first time to the Security & Police Service Thames River Division for the first time in the series who play a vital role in the storyline and a couple of the novel's most exciting moments.
"Just as I thought, there is definitely something wrong here" Edward Jefferies muttered to himself as he looked through a file of cuttings and typed sheets of paper, many of which were laid haphazardly across his desk.
Having finally retired from the National Security Service a few weeks earlier after a forty three year career in law enforcement throughout the United Kingdom, Jefferies was sat in his study at the little country cottage he shared with his wife of forty years, situated in the countryside a few miles to the north west of the city of Haychester.
"Once a Security Officer, always a Security Officer" his wife Carole commented as she looked around the door post of the study with a wry smile causing Jefferies to look up with a grin of admittance at this undisputable fact.
"I guess it's just as the Commander has always said" Jefferies admitted as he put down the papers he had been reading and greeted his wife as she approached him at the desk "No one ever really leaves the service, well maybe except in a wooden box that is."
"You have been retired what three weeks now?" she asked.
"Four weeks, two days, three hours, forty seven minutes" Jefferies cut in.
"And you are still looking through old case files as if you had never retired" Carole commented as she closed the file on the desk in front of him. "Come and get some tea you old workaholic."
"Sounds like a good idea" he agreed as he rose from his chair and followed his wife out of the study, along the hallway and into the traditional style country kitchen, where no sooner had he sat down at the old oak dining table than his wife was pouring him a large mug of tea from the huge pot she had ready, warming on the range.
"Here you go dear" Carole put the cup of tea in front of her husband "Get that down you."
"Thanks love" Jefferies responded with a smile as he helped himself to milk and one sugar from the jug and bowl on the table.
"So what's wrong with the world? I thought between you and the Commander, you had put it all to rights" Carole remarked as she sat down opposite her husband.
"I have been going through all my old paperwork, old case files and so forth" he explained "I have always had doubts about a couple of cases over the years and now I have the time I thought I would look into them."
"What brought all this on then?" Carole enquired.
"Oh something I read in the paper this morning" Jefferies replied "It may be nothing, old nonsense from an old man."
"Oh that reminds me" Carole remarked "Courier came while you were sifting through your past glories" she picked up the parcel that had been delivered from the seat alongside her and placed it on the table.
"Ah lovely" Jefferies excitedly responded as he picked up the parcel, got up from the table and disappeared back in the direction of his study.
Back in the study, he placed the parcel on the desk and quickly unwrapped it before opening the box contained within and viewing its contents.
He took a few moments to look over the contents with an expression of longing admiration before lifting up the inner tray and inserting something beneath it.
Jefferies then closed the lid of the box and carried the package through into an adjacent bedroom where he placed it inside an old packing trunk before closing the lid and returning to his study.
For the next hour, he diligently worked at his desk, pausing only briefly now and then to retrieve something from his filing cabinet nearby or take another mouthful of tea.
His chain of thought was constant for the entire hour until he read a tatty scribbled note tucked into the back of one particular file. Something had always seemed not right and this was the note that appeared to prove that his thoughts may just have a little supporting evidence to them.
Jefferies quickly scribbled a note on the back of the piece of paper before putting it back in the file and closing it. Taking a moment for quiet contemplation, he sat back and looked around the study at the photographs on the walls, images from his time in the Police force and the Security Service that would later replace it.
One photograph in particular caught his eye, a group photograph of a number of Security Service officers in full uniform posing together outside New Scotland Yard with the famous three sided rotating sign immediately behind them.
The picture was in black and white and in the middle of the group was Jefferies himself when he was younger along with a number of junior officers and his then Acting Deputy to his right, a very youthful looking officer who would later go on to become one of the most respected Commander's in the service.
After a few moments though, Jefferies opened the desk drawer and removed from it his old Security Service issue six shot revolver and then got up and put on his jacket before heading out of the study.
"I'm just popping out for a little while" Jefferies announced to his wife as he grabbed his overcoat from the coat rack in the front hallway and put it on "I won't be long."
Before his wife could even respond, the front door had closed and Jefferies was heading down the path, through the end gate and out into the little country lane that ran past his isolated cottage.
As he proceeded down the lane in the direction of the nearby village, a dark coloured saloon car parked in a lay-by some distance behind him, started up and pulled out, slowly following him at a discrete distance.
Three days later.....
The snow was already starting to fall quite heavily as the lengthy Eurostar express train emerged at high speed from the British end of the Channel Tunnel out into the limited daylight of a wintry late December afternoon.
In the first class section amongst the train's various passengers were two Security Service officers, the Divisional Commanding Officer of the Metropolitan Division known to all simply as The Commander, and seated alongside him his wife of nearly three years, Tracy Caverner, the Divisional Commanding Officer of the Transport Division of the Security Service within Greater London.
They were returning from a rare two weeks off taken at the Administrator General's insistence and time they had wisely used for the long put off honeymoon which they spent together in Paris.
"We must do this again sometime" Tracy commented as the train slowed for its intermediate stop at Ashford International.
"As much as holidays and I are usually regarded as somewhat strange bedfellows" the Commander remarked "I have to admit that was probably the best ten days of my life, even if I still cannot speak a word of French."
"Ahh you old romantic you" Tracy responded as she leaned across and kissed him on the cheek.
"Ladies and gentlemen" the steward announced over the tannoy in a broad French accent "We are now arriving at Ashford International. If you are alighting here, please ensure that you take all your luggage with you and have your passport ready for inspection."
As the train passed the old Ashford Railway Works, the steward continued to repeat the previous announcement in French as the Commander looked up and tried in vain to recognise any of the words.
"I don't want to be the bearer of bad news" Tracy remarked as she looked out of the carriage window just as the train glided to a halt at Ashford International Station "But I think we are about to receive a welcoming committee."
"Well there goes the remaining few days of our holiday" the Commander remarked as they saw waiting on the platform the familiar form of Tracy's identical twin sister Jennifer and her fianc? Simon Fuller, the Deputy Commanding Officer of the Transport Division of the service, both in full uniform which could only mean they were here on business.