73-year-old Mrs. Vannstone is found dead in a seaweed bath at a local spa. With Dalziel on a month's sick leave following his heart attack, it's left to Pascoe to deal with the case. Things look pretty straight forward, until the nurse who found the body supposedly commits suicide. Deciding it is time to return to work, Dalziel books himself a week at the spa in an attempt to find out the real goings on. And when another grisly murder occurs, he realises that certain people claim to be somebody they aren't – and the truth begins to unravel in more than one horrific way for Pascoe, as his latest floozy turns out to the prime suspect. And when all of the events are connected to the death of a man at the spa two years ago, Dalziel is forced to step in and take charge of the situation. Is Pascoe naive enough to let the prime suspect get away just to have a little bit of fun, or will his head rule his heart?