Andy Dalziel does not suffer fools gladly, but he has even more trouble with what he calls the "smart arses" of this world. So when the inexperienced, soft-spoken, whiz-kid graduate Peter Pascoe joins his team at Mid-Yorkshire CID, there could be problems. Pascoe is one of the new breed of career police officers, armed with a degree in Social Sciences, a caring attitude and a sharp brain. At first Pascoe is somewhat taken aback by his brash and ballsy boss, but it soon becomes apparent there is more to Andy Dalziel than meets the eye. Pascoe and his feisty girlfriend Ellie find Dalziel by turns exasperating and amusing. And although Pascoe often has to bear the brunt of Dalziel`s jibes, it is hard to resist his clumsy attempts at friendship.