Sacked after an affair with the boss's wife magazine writer Tom Ronstadt returns from London to Bacup where his sister Nancy is caring for their father Sam, a former journalist,now suffering from Alzheimer's.Forced to stay and help Nancy, Tom finds it impossible to communicate with a father with whom, even in better days, there was plainly friction. Tom goes for a drink with old school friend Mike Eldridge, who is unaware that Tom slept with his wife Mandy, after picking her up in the pub where she works. Tom tells him he left home as a youngster when his father severely attacked him for opening a file he was working on, marked 'Metzler'. Metzler is now head of the local council. Nancy and Tom discover that huge sums of money have been paid into Sam's account and it would seem that Metzler was trying to bribe him to keep a secret. Tom's investigations are interrupted when Mike, learning of his one night stand with Mandy, punches him.
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