Former London Metropolitan Police detective and well-documented ladies man, John Warnock, is found stabbed in alleyway adjacent to a quayside pub he had been visiting earlier in the evening. Suspicion initially falls on young street thief Reece, who is well known to Kenny, having arrested him several times in the past. Although Reece admits to lifting the victim's credit card, he denies murder. A complex web of relationships and deceit begins to boil to the surface, and it soon becomes apparent that Warnock had been using his skills as a detective to act as a spy for a local firm of solicitors, to uncover the secrets of his current boss, brewery owner Sam Harper. But with Sam, his wife and his daughter all having rock solid alibis for the time of Warnock's murder, Vera is left to decipher just how one of them managed to slip away to commit the crime.