This is a well written, cleverly plotted book, which contains a story within a story. Morse, recovering from illness in hospital, is given a pamphlet describing the murder of a woman which took place on the Oxford canal in the nineteenth century. That pamphlet is set out in full, and is interesting in its own right; on finishing it, Morse is convinced that the accepted conclusion was incorrect, and that the wrong men were hanged for the crime. He decides to solve it himself.
Dexter keeps the two stories going superbly in a novel which fully deserved its Gold Dagger.