The arrival of Malaysian businessman Simon Chan in the North-East brought the prospect of business for Morcomb Estates and an assignment for solicitor Eric Ward: find the missing executive Harry Staughton. At the same time he was given another task by the merchant bank on whose board he sat reluctantly: raise a defence for Artaros SA against an aggressive takeover bid by an American arbitrageur with a shady background. Neither task was clear-cut: Staughton's complete disappearance, doubtful dealings over the sale and chartering of the Arctic Queen to Chan's company, and Eric's own uneasiness over the dirty tricks approach called for by the Artaros defence were compounded by the re-emergence into his affairs of the shady lawyer Charles Davison. When a body was washed ashore in Spain, the trail led Eric north to Berwick. There he stumbled upon a second murder and had to battle for his life against a professional killer. But it was in the court-room that the twisted skeins were finally unravelled. Matched against his old legal adversary, Eric discovered just what kind of transaction could go on between three amoral men ...
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