No one expects to read their own obituary. Liverpool lawyer Harry Devlin never knew five short lines could be so menacing - someone wants him dead and he has only seven days to find out who. The terse notice of his death is out of place amid the hustle and bustle of Harry's posh office off the Strand, but soon mysterious threats lurk in every familiar corner of Liverpool for the wary lawyer. The city quickly becomes a capital of crime as well as culture, when a mutilated female corpse washes up on the Waterloo Beach and another soon after. A loose serial killer does no good for Harry's already morbidly preoccupied state, but between the elegant coroner Ceri Hussain and the endearing cleaner Gina he finds enough distraction. However, not all distractions in lovely packages are good. Juliet May, ex-wife of gangster Casper May and Harry's former lover, sweeps back into the lawyer's life with unforeseen consequences.