After Gerard Etienne is found dead in an upstairs room at the Peverell Press, Commander Dalgleish and DI Kate Miskin arrive to investigate. DI Daniel Aron joins them, his first day as a member of the team. Dalgleish's friend Gabriel Dauntsey notes that the room in which Etienne was found had apparently been cleaned. He also noted that the room was quite warm. Almost everyone at the firm may have had a reason to want him dead. The pathologist determines that something was put in Etienne's mouth after he died and then withdrawn, perhaps a small cassette tape. When Dalgleish learns from the dead Sonya Clements sister that she was banned from working in the archive room where her sister took her life, he begins to wonder if there's something in the archive they are not supposed to see.