As the shadow of East End villainy falls upon Oxford, a hit and run accident claims the life of an eminent Classics Professor. Endeavour & Thursday must each face their past. Not allstories have a happy ending.
Oxford lies in the grip of a bitter winter. Endeavour crams for his upcoming Sergeant's Exam, but a road traffic accident sets events in motion which will lead to the Moonlight Rooms nightclub and a blood reckoning. The hit and run victim is an Oxford professor who died at odds with his peers over the fate of Booth Hill, a potentially lucrative parcel of College owned land. The case is complicated by the appearance of Thursday's old gangland enemy, Vic Kasper, whose arrival in Oxford carries a direct threat to all Thursday holds dear. Endeavour is drawn back to Lincolnshire to visit his ailing father, leaving Thursday to face his demons alone. However, when a cigarette girl working at the Moonlight Rooms is found dead, Endeavour must choose between filial duty and the need to protect Thursday, whose righteous anger has led him into a dark and potentially fatal place..