Commander Vimes, head of Ankh-Morpork’s police, the City Watch, has been forced to take a vacation at the country estate of his wife’s family. Vimes is completely uncomfortable in the country, even though he knows his son and wife will enjoy the change. Vimes tries to relax and explore the area of the estate, but then his policeman’s instincts begin to detect things of a criminal nature, and he is soon happily involved in new investigations along with local policeman Feeny Upshot, who Vimes is horrified to learn takes all his orders from the local Board of Magistrates rather than the laws of the land. Vimes changes Upshot’s way of thinking about his job, and they begin working together to find out what is happening to a local population of goblins that seem to be disappearing. When one is found murdered in an attempt to incriminate Vimes himself, the Commander becomes deeply involved in local politics and evil doings, including a wild ride down a flooded river where Vimes’ own life is in grave danger.
I continue to enjoy and admire Pratchett’s stories about Vimes and his police force, which over time have become stories about fighting prejudice and supporting inclusion, but are always funny and well worth reading. Recommended!