There was an extra body in the morgue - a body stripped of all identification and with its face badly battered. But when Inspector Martineau was called to the scene he had a pretty good idea whose it was.
That was, however, just the beginning. A big payroll robbery, a group of out-of-town mobsters and some odd behaviour in a local night spot all attract Inspector Martineau's attention. While, at a funeral parlour, the quick are considerably more active and dangerous a problem than the dead.