Recovering alcoholic Jim Bergerac, a sergeant in the Jersey police force, returns to the island after a period of absence during which he has recovered from injuries sustained on the job. Nonetheless he is not considered fit enough to join the newly-formed Bureau Des Etrangers, headed by Inspector Crozier. Thus Jim does some unofficial sleuthing into the death of colleague Tom Draycott, and, helped by Draycott's girlfriend, artist Francine, uncovers a plot to sell arms to South Africa. His success in catching the culprit leads to his being accepted into the bureau ...
Now renting a cottage from Francine, Jim is called in when charity director Sir Edward Lister dies in a Jersey hotel and the pathologist claims the body was moved onto the bed after death. After the room is ransacked, Jim apprehends two journalists who were trying to find a document which Lister had prepared to expose a charity fraud. However, thanks to a fellow attendee at Alcoholics Anonymous, Jim learns that both Sir Edward and his assistant, a young vicar, had secrets that they did not want to be exposed.
Jim shadows drug courier Raymond Dumoitier from Paris to Jersey but on arrest he is clean, having lost the drugs - to the annoyance of his boss, ex-racing driver Bobby Carnegie, who beats him up. Dumoitier, however, claims Jim assaulted him, leading to his suspension. Jim learns from a friend of Charlie's that her son Simon picked the drug mule's pocket and is now selling his wares around the island. When Carnegie's men grab Simon Jim gets the chance to clear his name.
Hard-up former military man Furneaux is working on a book about his experiences as a prisoner in the Korean war, when his young ghost writer is killed and the manuscript stolen, after which Furneaux gets a threatening call not to publish the book. After he has been framed for a hit-and-run it becomes clear that his book exposes a recently-deceased supposed war hero who was, in fact, a murderer, and that the man's son and his regiment will stop at nothing to prevent publication, including drafting in an assassin.
Civil servant Margaret Semple, in fact a Soviet spy, gets a call telling her that MI6 are onto her and she must leave London for Jersey, where a boat will take her to France on her way to Russia. Arriving on the island she attracts attention when she goes on the run after accidentally killing her boat-man as she refuses to go on without her lover Grigori. By the time Grigori arrives he has orders to dispose of Margaret, who has become a liability and Jim must get to her first.
On the eve of Sarah and Laurence Mitchell's daughter Felicity's wedding the church is broken into and a register stolen by the driver of a white Mercedes. He is in fact the man whom Sarah, years earlier as a Czech refugee, married to obtain a British passport and from whom she was never divorced. When he sets out to blackmail her she tells Laurence, who takes the law into his own hands.
Several wealthy residents including Charlie are the victims of some extremely well-informed burglars. All are members of the golf club and the burglars' informant is Eddie St. Pierre, a former golf professional, now reduced to giving lessons. When Eddie meets up with an old flame whose millionaire husband is away on business, Jim sets a trap for the burglars, but nobody shows up. Has Eddie outwitted him?
Diver Terry Castleford is murdered after finding the skeleton of Luftwaffe pilot Karl Scheringer in his aircraft, which crashed into the sea in World War Two. Karl's parents arrive to collect his remains, followed by two German men whom the mother recognizes and who are extremely keen for Charlie's salvage firm to raise the plane. Club owner Ronnie Bishop and ex-Battle of Britain pilot Tuchel are also interested in it, leading Jim to believe that there was something of great value in the crashed aircraft along with the pilot's corpse.
When wealthy recluse Henry Bernard is taken ill with food poisoning, his estranged son Philip flies in from London, voicing concern that Lisa, the faithful housekeeper, tried to kill him, though Jim is not convinced. Henry later dies, due to a supposedly accidental gas leak, leaving everything to Lisa, strengthening Philip's accusations. Lisa is duly arrested but she has been keeping a secret for many years, which changes everything and leads to the apprehension of the real killer.
When Annie Escale, fiancée of notorious French gangster Jacques Tabouis, turns up on Jersey, Jim determines to follow her in the hopes that she will lead him to Tabouis, but the man whom she meets in the night club and is found dead after giving Jim the slip is somebody completely different. At the same time Jim is not happy that Francine, for some time his live-in girlfriend, is spending so much time with a charming Canadian photographer whom she met on the ferry - and he has every right, for this man is not who he claims to be.