Gently is surprised after he receives Bacchus’s resignation, and he soon works out that he has lost his confidence. Attempting to help Bacchus, Gently insists that he needs him to help investigate a death in custody.
Gently and Bacchus make their way to a family holiday camp to investigate both the staff and holidaymakers after a body of one of the greencoats is discovered nearby. Gently and Bacchus soon discover a story of jealousy, ambition and the darkside of a permissive society.
Following a suspicious death in a mine in Burnsend, Gently and Bacchus find out about the tensions and relationships in a community which has been ripped wide apart by politics. They also find out about some grudges that go back to the Second World War.
After a couple of deaths end up being connected in an unexpected way, Gently becomes drawn into the world of drugs and LSD, and thinking about a Cold-War conspiracy.