'Underwood's novels are insidiously hard to put down' Independent
Every autumn an old reprobate, tramp and scrounger, mysteriously known as Shem, drifts into the village of Long Gaisford. Kenny, a young boy, likes Shem. It's not his fault that the well-meant tip he gives Shem should lead to disaster.
The local Detective-Superintendent of Police is within weeks of retirement; to him the demise of Shem revealed clearly as 'foul play', is very bad news, especially as Kenny will not talk - and, as the story develops Shem's death unlocks deeper implications.