Andy Dalziel is not a happy man. He's been told that he's on his last operational case and will soon be moved to a desk job. He's feeling his age and is worried about his future to the point where he is suffering from severe insomnia. The police have a puzzler on their hands. The autopsy of a man found dead reveals a two-year old bullet from an AK-47 lodged in his spine. When Richard Mattis returns from Russia having successfully negotiated a major contract for the family-owned shoe company, he also brings home his lovely interpreter, Natalia. When Richard is found killed, Andy is convinced there has to be a connection between the two cases.