(From the publisher):
Ralph Ember, owner of the shady drinking club The Monty, longs to be respectable. The trouble is, his money comes from big-time drug dealing, where fortunes are made but reputations are dubious and the risks truly murderous. No wonder he's nicknamed "Panicking Ralph", because of the terrors that seize him at times of high danger, though when a dead body turns up, he's far off and all innocence.
Right now Ember is out to get his hands on the syndicate of the recently murdered Oliphant Kenward Knapp, who ruled what envious competitors called the best drug operation in Britain. Whom does he dare approach as a partner? The ambitious Keith Vine? Top banana Mansel Shale and his sidekick Alfie Ivis? In this city, alliances shift fast, but it's even riskier to set up as an independent. Was too much independence what caused the death of Ralph's girlfriend Christine Tranter, gunned down at the beach while she and Ralph tried to run for cover? Were the bullets meant for him?
Meanwhile Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur, bypassing his jealous superior ACC Desmond Iles, is developing his own secret plan to trap the drug barons. As Harpur enters a dark and sometimes seductive world of greed, betrayal, and vengeance, there is no one who can pull him out if things go wrong.
Original title: Panicking Ralph
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Crime/Caper
Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Police Procedural