When Joe Dalgetty is found dead at home, a postmortem reveals he died of a heart attack, and with no suspicious circumstances to suggest otherwise, he becomes just another statistic. Neighbour Rosie Hewitt isn’t convinced, and when Joe’s house, and then her own, are broken into, she tries to persuade the police something’s not right, but with a burglar targeting pensioner’s houses they don’t think Rosie’s case is anything special.
Whatever the police might think, Rosie knows she’s right, and she’s heard there are two ex-police officers who are starting a detective agency. Maybe they will be prepared to listen to her.
It’s not long before Slater and Norman uncover their first anomaly: Joe Dalgetty might have been 62 years old, but officially, he didn’t exist until five years ago! And that’s just the start. In a case involving a robbery that happened almost 30 years ago, an old London gangster, a protected witness, false identities, and two dead schoolboys from the sixties, it’s difficult for Slater and Norman to work out who’s really who, and what’s really going on.