RCMP Inspector Coswell is back. A university professor is murdered and his corpse is revealed to a first year anatomy class in spectacular fashion—nude on a slab alongside shrouded medical cadavers. He begins his investigation with Corporal James, his long time assistant, but is abruptly assigned a new partner, a female officer who arrives under a political cloud. Already depressed by his perceived plunge into senility, Coswell struggles to stifle his own gender biases and work effectively with this woman.
Their list of suspects grows: failed students, a jealous colleague, an intriguing ex-wife and a criminal cartel. Clues emerge that send them all over the city of Vancouver from UBC campus to downtown and its gourmet restaurants.