Dan Markham, who starting his working life as a full time semi-professional climber, ends up doing the legwork for an industrial investigator. He starts his own investigative firm in a rundown part of Manchester. His workload drops off, so he is happy to accept a commission from a plastic manufacturer for finding its executive chemist, who has gone missing with a highly confidential formula whilst on a climbing holiday in the French Alps. Markham drives to Chamonix in his elderly Jaguar where he finds the formula despite attacks on his person and his car. He returns to Manchester, camps in the Derbyshire Peak District to avoid the police and then recruited by a government agent to assist in the destruction of the formula necessitating the demolition of a pilot plant situated in a defunct slate mine in the Lake District in a highly secret mission. The final outcome is a substantial fee, a retainer with the plastic manufacturer, a repaired car courtesy of HM Government and finding unexpected love.
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