Earth is a mere colony in a vast and sprawling galactic empire of an alien race. So vast and sprawling that takes years to traverse and control of individual planets devolves to governers, many of whom are corrupt and exploit the indiginous populations for all they are worth. The governer of earth is just such a creature but he is forced to pretend otherwise when an anti-corruption charge is investigated by a commisioner from their home planet. Can Gary Towler, the human interpreter for the aliens, ensure that this charade fails?
The setting for this story touches upon the kinds of problems any large sprawling empire, such as the British, might face, particularly in it's twilight days.
It's an exciting read that keeps you gripped until the finish. The ending, whilst feeling a little rushed, is quite unexpected.