Detailed to investigate a charge that a soldier in Cyprus is guilty black-market activities - and suspected murder - Sgt Mann finds that he needs his wits about him to track down a determined criminal.
Investigating a difficult case, Sgt Mann finds his movements restrained by 'internal arrangement'. Much to the anger of a superior officer, he skilfully sidesteps his orders - and makes a surprising discovery.
At a base where boys are trained as would-be soldiers, one has nearly committed suicide and another several petty crimes in the nearby town. Mann learns that an overzealous boy officer may have pushed them to the breaking point.
When a German civilian is run down by a group of British soldiers in a stolen car, Mann finds out the pressures on the men that pushed them to do it, and those involving the base and it's personnel with local politics.