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"A complex and deeply satisfying tale...one part traditional English whodunit and one part shadowy corporate thriller." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) Prominent businessman Pal Maciver locked himself in his study and shot himself. It's an open-and-shut case, as far as Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel is concerned. Except...Maciver's father died in an almost identical manner ten years earlier, and "Fat Andy" was the investigating officer. Pal's strange and strained relationship with his beautiful, enigmatic stepmother, Kay Kafka, also raises warning flags. And the family's shady corporate dealings carry two apparent acts of self-slaughter far beyond the borders of Yorkshire, causing policeman Peter Pascoe to question his superior's reticence...and his motives.