Police Chief Constable Tom Shackleton is ambitious to reach the top of his profession, but no one is more ambitious for his future than his wife. Jenni Shackleton looks every inch the consort to a powerful man. Striking and groomed to gleam in any crowd, she is connected through her own job in journalism to the right people to further Tom's career - or so she thinks. She is also unscrupulous: Jenni Shackleton will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Next door and down on her luck is Lucy, who acts as housekeeper to Jenni, formerly a friend but now an employer who somehow can't help patronising Lucy for wielding the household duster. What Jenni is too vain to see is that her comparatively frumpish housekeeper friend has everything that her husband actually finds desirable in a woman. In Jenni's view, the only blot is Tom's natural rival, Geoff Carter, a man with just too much Oxbridge polish and connection with the government to allow her to sleep well at night. But as Jenni soon discovers, there is a drug for everything.