Nathaniel Parker stars as Oxford-educated Inspector Thomas Lynley of Scotland Yard - a committed crime-fighter who also happens to be the eighth Earl of Asherton. Sharon Small plays his brusque working-class assistant, Sergeant Barbara Havers. She's an unfashionable plain-Jane with a very low opinion of the highborn.
It's a marriage made in headquarters, not in heaven. "A fast-track Oxford golden boy, and an arrogant aristocratic ponce," is how Havers sees her new partner.
The doubtful duo are thrown together to solve a gruesome and baffling crime. The investigation is made all the more complex as Lynley runs into hostile former colleagues in the Yorkshire police force. Making matters worse is Lynley's star-crossed love life. In most detective novels, Lynley would inexorably fall for the woman fate has placed in his path, namely Havers. But nothing runs quite that smoothly for these two.