The east of England, April 1998: it is eight months since Regional Utility Services was privatized. All its longstanding staff detest the new management of the RUS Group Ltd, and particularly chief executive Patrick Harding. But which of them hated him enough to kill him?
Eliza Stannard finds it difficult to believe that anyone she knows could have done it, but all the indications are that it was an inside job. Could Harding have been killed by Howard Nkolo, the friendly accountant who discovers his body with her? By Frank Mills, the demoted former director? One of her fellow section headers, Genevieve and Mitchell? IT specialist Phil Curtin, with whom Eliza has recently ended her relationship? Might it have been the ambitious Hugh Worning, or Eliza's ebullient subordinate Martha? Was there a conspiracy, with several people involved? Why is Howard lying about the security guards who were on the door of the RUS offices that morning? And what is Eliza herself hiding from the police?
As another murder follows, the pressure mounts on Eliza and all those working for the RUS Group in sleepy Costhorpe. Eliza has to confront her own insecurities and reassess her attitudes to her own friends and colleagues, the police, and not least to the forceful venture capitalist James Connaught and the rest of the team who have transformed RUS into something she fears she cannot live with.
Susan Curran is the author of five previous novels and two biographies.