It is the duty of all local authorities under section 46 of the Public Health Act to dispose of the bodies of anyone destitute with no known relatives. This is normally an easy if sad task, but when Ros Green, a slap-happy temporary junior, is given the job of arranging the funeral of Cyril Porter, The Laurels, Brickfield Terraces, she immediately connects him with the book Diary of a Nobody. It is enough to intrigue her and she begins to make further enquiries to find out more about the man. Back at work she is told to 'get a move on and get the burial over' . Stubbornly, and with the help of her partner Detective Sergeant Jack Russell she persists with her enquiries until she reaches back into wartime days - then the attempts to stop her become more serious. She has sewerage dumped on her garden, her brake cables are cut and finally a shot is fired but she is undaunted, and her efforts are rewarded when she discovers the man's true identity and, in doing so, also uncovers a wartime scandal which will now threaten the lives of many prominent people in the town.