Chief Inspector Peach finds the memories of squatters hard to budge Everyone in Brunton is happy to see the decaying, uninhabitable terraced houses of the old cotton town finally demolished to make way for a new industrial development. Happy, that is, until the clearance reveals a grisly secret. As the bulldozers level the site and the old walls are toppled, a decaying arm appears among the debris, raised aloft to the heavens, as if beseeching justice. The corpse gradually acquires an identity, and it seems that this woman lived out the last months of her life as a squatter in one of the derelict houses. DCI Peach discovers a nun, a concert pianist and other, less savoury, characters who were among the victim's companions at that time. But he finds their memories are not easily stirred about things they would rather forget.