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Jakob Grimshaw has eked out a precarious living as a Staffordshire moorland farmer by selling off some of his land to Gabriel Frank, a local businessman, who seized the opportunity to build a select development of nine houses, the Prospect Farm Estate.
But having been sold a rural idyll, the residents of the estate quickly realise that they do not like Grimshaw’s old farm building – surely such an eyesore will mean their properties will depreciate in value? And so the war begins…complaints, petty obstruction, each inhabitant with his or her own reason for wanting Grimshaw to move away. What none of the residents realise is that the old farmer is neither simple nor honest. He has a cunning and devious nature and likes to play malicious tricks, including double-crossing the landowners around him. When Grimshaw’s body is discovered at the foot of his boundary wall, his head crushed by one of the copestones, it is up to DI Joanna Piercy to unravel the events leading up to his death. But Joanna has worries of her own in her personal life and the last thing she needs on her desk is a gruesome murder investigation…