Detective Andy Dalziel is an idiosyncratic, no-nonsense copper with a penetrating wit and questionable personal habits. Inspector Peter Pascoe is his cultured sidekick - a thoughtful "New Man" with a degree in Social Sciences, a caring attitude and a sharp brain. When they threw together these contrasting characters, few thought their talents would gel and that, sharing a passionate commitment to justice, they would forge an impressive crime-solving partnership -and a tentative friendship.
1. Ruling Passion Visiting old friends in rural Oxfordshire, Pascoe and a pregnant Ellie discover the bodies of their hostess Rose and two of her guests, all shot dead. Back in Yorkshire, Dalziel is investigating a series of burglaries, in which the thief leaves a bizarre calling card.
2. A Killing Kindness A serial killer; known as "The Choker", has struck for the third time. After every slaying, the killer provides the local newspaper with a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet. As Pascoe tries to come to terms with fatherhood, he and Dalziel find themselves under pressure.
3. Deadheads When Dick Elgood accuses one of his employees, rose-enthusiast Patrick Alderman, of trying to murder him, Pascoe's investigations reveal a trail of suspicious deaths. Meanwhile, attending a police conference. Dalziel attempts to rekindle an old flame.
4. Exit Lines Just as his homelife falls into turmoil. Peter is for ced to investigate his boss after a drink drive accident. While he's being investigated. Andy develops a friendship with the pheasant shooting set - but it turns out he's the one doing the investigating.