Chief Inspector George Gently and Detective Sergeant John Bacchus investigate the murder of Gunter Schmeikel, who is found at the bottom of the harbor. The man drowned but his back had been broken, so it clearly wasn't an accident. Gunter had lived in England as a POW during World War II and had worked on Old Jim Hardyment's farm. It's only been 20 years since the end of the war and there is still a good deal of anti-German sentiment. The dead man's son and daughter-in-law, Wilhelm and Trudi Schmeikel, are lying to the police about their whereabouts on the evening of Gunter's death. It also appears that Wilhelm is under investigation for embezzling funds from his father's business. As well, young Jimmy Hardyment may hold hard feelings against Gunter who had an affair with his mother. Meanwhile, Gently is concerned when he learns that Sgt. Bacchus is having money troubles.