With the crazy edicts of the new Police Superintendent, Inspector Deighton is counting the days to retirement. To top it off, he is assigned to investigate what sounds like a prank, something about a bird tethered to a little girl’s hat. The complainant is Lady Carmella, new in town.
Deighton pays Lady Carmella a visit. Her story prompts his recollection of a case from years back. He explains the people she saw were her neighbors, a retired circus troupe, engaging in stage pranks. He relates how their antics caused quite a stir when they first moved to town. Lady Carmella wants to believe him.
Two days later, the Chief Inspector returns the case to Deighton when Lady Carmella is found unconscious. In looking for answers, Deighton finds more questions.
The craziness ramps up. Hijinx, hardened criminals, meat pies, racist violence, ex-KGB, blackmail, vigilantes, cockroaches, human cadavers, police corruption, beheaded sheepdogs, candlelight vigils, water hoses and greenhouses…all begin to emerge. Deighton needs to find out what is happening.
Not everyone wants the truth uncovered.