Semi-retired. De-licensed. But Cliff Hardy is once again fighting for justice and tracking down evil when his cousin is brutally murdered - did the shotgun blast find its target, or was it meant for Hardy?
Hardy has never been much of a family man, so when he meets his second cousin Patrick Malloy it's like being hit with a left hook to the solar plexus - Malloy is his double. Cliff and his cousin become friends and travel to attend a gathering of the Irish Travell - the gypsy-like folk from whom they are descended. On their return, Malloy is brutally murdered - but was the shotgun blast intended for him or for Hardy? Hardy is de-licensed, semi-retired ... but this investigation is personal.
The plot becomes still more personal when Malloy's ex-wife, Sheila, comes onto the scene. Hardy has his own enemies and Malloy's to consider as he searches for the killer. Clues point in many directions - to Sheila's motives, to Malloy's suspect business dealings, to his time as a mercenary in Angola.
The search takes Hardy north to a para-military training camp and south to a meeting of Traveller descendants in Kangaroo Valley. Other players have other interests and their playing style is ruthless.