Whilst prime minister Charles Flyte is in America attending a conference at the headquarters of oil giant Petroflex there is a massive explosion at their refinery in the North East village of Scarrow with huge numbers of casualties. Then Flyte is killed when his plane crashes on the journey home. Deputy prime minister Tom Dawkins,a decent moderate,asks for party unity but foreign secretary Ros Yelland and home secretary Felix Durrell have no shame in declaring their ambitions to be leader. Tom is given evidence by journalist Ellis Kane,a woman of whom MI5 are suspicious as a whistle-blower, that Flyte was negotiating a huge compensation pay-out with Petroflex whilst Mark Ashcroft,the Scarrow pathologist,is alarmed by the high toxic content in the blast victims bodies and tells Tom before his body is found hanged. Tom asks drunken old buddy Tony Fossett, a former MI5 agent, if he can uncover any conspiracy,unaware that Agnes Evans at MI5 has tapped his phone and is listening to their ...
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