Tito Ihaka, the unkempt, overweight Maori cop was demoted to Sergeant due to insubordination and pigheadedness. He investigates the unsolved killing of 17 year old girl at an election night party in a ritzy villa near Auckland. Ihaka is also embroiled in a very personal mystery. A freelance journalist has stumbled across information that Ihaka's father Jimmy, a trade union firebrand and renegade Marxist, didn't die of natural causes. The stories weave themselves into an exciting climax in an atmosphere of political maneuvering and intrigue surrounding the USA's confrontation with New Zealand over its anti-nuclear stance.