Animal activist Robin Challoner is found dead, and partly eaten, in the tiger cage at the Latimer Private Zoo. The zoo is housed on the one-time estate of Lord 'Tiger' Harper who in 1979 disappeared after someone was killed there after a party. Andy Dalziel remembers the case well and always believed Lord Harper was in hiding nearby. The zoo is managed by Guy Latimer, Harper's one-time lover and it is obvious that he's not pleased to have the police around. When a zookeeper disappears and a veterinarian is found dead floating in the swimming pool, the detectives are convinced that they have something far more serious on their hands than animal activists snooping around. Peter Pascoe is surprised to hear that his ex-wife Ellie and daughter Rosie are in Wetherton visiting her parents. While he is thrilled to see them, he hasn't seen his daughter for a year, he's not so pleased to find out that Ellie is engaged to be married and has her new fiancé in tow.