It is the opening years of the 1990s. John Major is newly elected following the decade of austerity and social upheaval of the Thatcher years. High streets are boarded up and the residual tensions of the miners’ strikes, Wapping dispute and the poll tax are still evident across a country bitterly divided.
For Derek Brown, an officer in an undercover customs and excise team, his personal, professional and political life mirrors the disillusioned directionless drift of the left in the aftermath of three election defeats. However, a new case offers hope for Derek, with the prospect of settling old scores and giving him a new direction in his working life and political perspective – at the same time as a new relationship brings significant changes to his personal life. But as the case twists and turns, nothing goes as expected.