Niall O’Brien is a veteran living on the edge of a run-down estate, refusing to sell his house to developers. He’s the only remaining resident, alone and frightened by a series of break-ins. He’s been threatening to shoot the next intruder but he can’t be serious . . . what if the next person through the door is a police officer trying to help?
Elsewhere, on a bright Manchester morning a vehicle screeches across a junction and wipes out a prison van. Two prisoners run for it, leaving the police to track them down.
They don’t have long to wait. Hours later, one of the escapees is hanged from a motorway bridge. Was he broken out solely to be killed, or is there something deeper going on?
Meanwhile, someone’s conning pensioners out of their savings and there are rumours that the bare-knuckle British middleweight title fight is coming to the city. DI Jessica Daniel fears finding herself in the middle of an all-out war, not knowing that the biggest threat might come from a frightened pensioner.