It is a loose sequel to "From the Highlands", also by Flint.
In the La Martine sector, Robert Jamka, the perverted, sadistic People's Commissioner to Citizen Rear Admiral Genevieve Chin, is murdered. Soon after, word comes of the failed McQueen Coup, prompting the State Security superdreadnoughts PNS Hector Van Dragen and PNS Joseph Tilden to hold the People's Navy detachment there prisoner.
Special Investigator Victor Cachat is sent by Oscar Saint-Just to La Martine to deal with the situation. Pronouncing the StateSec unit there to be severely corrupt, Cachat forcibly reorganizes it, using People's Marines and trusted StateSec personnel as his enforcers. Citizen Commissioner Yuri Radamacher, his trusted subordinate Sharon Justice, and a number of other StateSec personnel are arrested on suspicion of Jamka's murder. Radamacher and Justice are severely beaten during an interrogation, but for that they are much better off than the ones Cachat deems to be corrupt, who are imprisoned or summarily executed.
After Radamacher is found innocent of wrongdoing, Cachat appoints him as his personal assistant. Cachat then takes the Joseph Tilden and the PN units to resume the commerce protection patrols which had been suspended following the coup. Radamacher is left to finish the task of removing corrupt elements from the Hector Van Dragen, working with a team of Marines and StateSec troops.
Some time later, the task force returns to find that Citizen Captain Jillian Gallanti of the Hector Van Dragen has gone berserk. News of the Theisman Coup has reached the La Martine sector, and Gallanti, in a fit of rage, threatens to destroy the Joseph Tilden and the Navy task force. Radamacher and his party intervene, killing Gallanti.
With the Saint-Just regime gone and Haven at an uneasy peace with Manticore, Cachat reveals that he knew all along who had killed Jamka – a group led by Justice and Marine captain Khedi LaFitte, who sought to eliminate the abusive commissioner after he tortured and murdered a naval rating. Cachat had used the case as a pretext to eliminate Jamka's cabal and the other corrupt StateSec members. Now that the issue has been resolved, Cachat renounces his title of Special Investigator and directs Radamacher to arrest him.
Eventually, a courier brings news of the restoration of the Republic of Haven, led by President Eloise Pritchart. Kevin Usher, now head of the Federal Investigative Agency, comes to take Cachat back to the capital, and Virginia Usher is also present. When she discovers Cachat's weary condition, Virginia angrily screeches at the La Martine party: "You dirty rotten bastards! You were mean to him!"
Henri Alouette | Midge Austell | Edouard Ballon | Lavrentiy Beria | Victor Cachat | Kit Carson | Genevieve Chin | Diana Citizen | Rita Enquien | Jillian Gallanti | Bob Gottlieb | Jessica Hackett | Robert Jamka | Sharon Justice | James Keppler | Khedi LaFitte | Jean-Pierre Ogilve | Caroline Quedilla | Ned Pierce | Eloise Pritchart | Yuri Radamacher | Jaime Rolla | Saunders | Tarack | Thomas Theisman | Kevin Usher | Virginia Usher | Vesey | Howard Wilkins | Wright
Daggan System | Ja'al Sector | La Martine | La Martine Sector | La Martine System | Office of State Security | People's Navy | Special Investigator for the Director | State Security Naval Forces | Tetra Sector