Banks and his team investigate when book-seller Leslie Whittaker's charred corpse is found on his burnt-out houseboat along with a strong-box containing twenty thousand pounds and a Turner painting. An informant links Whittaker to crazy artist Jake McMahon,who specialises in forgeries whilst Annie Cabbot seeks the advice of art expert Mark Keane and gets personal with him. Christina Aspen's body is also found floating in the river and her girl-friend tells Banks she was about to inform on her father,an elderly doctor with a very young wife, Miranda,whose car was spotted near the murder scene. After Banks has struck Aspen for insulting a black policewoman McMahon's corpse is discovered.
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