A woman who took some snapshots at a swingers club orgy and then mailed them to several of the men there, with no note or demand of any kind, is murdered and Inspector Challis, in this third of the series, investigates. The dead woman just happens to be the daughter-in-law of the Chief Superintendent who insists on meddling in the investigation. The question that begins to bother the DI and Ellen, his sergeant, is whether Janine was the intended victim. Federal officers show up when they inquire after the god-daughter of one of the neighbors. It seems she was in witness protection and is now on the run from a gangster she had informed on. As is typical in any investigation red herrings abound.
Talk about an incestuous department: Challis has the hots for Ellen, his sergeant, who is married to a senior traffic constable, Alan. Alan and Ellen are constantly at each other's throats, with Alan accusing Ellen of sleeping with Challis. Alan, in turn, is using his position to pick on Pam, a constable on Ellen's team and charge her with reckless endangerment in the death of bystander. Pam's partner is the misogynistic John Tankard who can't take a hint. They are charged with driving around and awarding citations to good drivers. Challis, in the meantime, had had an affair with a local newspaper celebrity, so the superintendent has reason to suspect him of leaking information about the shooting. And by the way, his wife had tried to have him killed because she was fooling around with another cop. And all of this interpersonal rigmarole clearly influences the way they perform their jobs. If I were the supervisor of all these folks there would be a serious re-organization.
Nevertheless, in spite of the rather abrupt ending, it's a good series, but I'm a sucker for anything Australian.