In the northwest frontier 1910, the screams of a wounded British officer abandoned at the bottom of a dark ravine are heard by a young Scottish subaltern. Ignoring the command to retreat to base the Highlander sets out alone, with dagger in hand, to rescue his fellow officer from the Pathan tribesman who is slowly torturing him to death. But the bloody outcome of this rescue attempt is not what anybody could have predicted. Over a dozen years later the backwash of this tragedy threatens to engulf Joe Sandilands. On a welcome break from his policing duties, Joe is spending a fortnight with his old army friend, James Lindsay, commander of the British army's front line fort at Gor Khatri on the Afghan border. However, the fragile peace is soon broken resulting in the death of a Pathan prince and the taking of hostages, and Joe and his companion are given seven days in which to identify, arrest and execute the killer before the frontier erupts into war. The deadly edge of the final days of the Raj sets the backdrop for this third engrossing novel in the popular Joe Sandilands series.