Following the devastating impact of foot-and-mouth disease, hill-farmer Paddy Fenton is facing financial ruin. When a casual acquaintance offers to lease one of his outbuildings for cash, the temptation of making a little money on the side is too good to turn down. He agrees - and doesn't inquire too closely into what might be happening there. It's the worst decision Fenton has ever made. A police raid on his barn uncovers the production of 'smokies' - illegal meat manufacturing - and the farmer is accused as an accessory. The criminal underworld that Fenton has unwittingly entered stretches far beyond the local countryside. |
It is down to lawyer Eric Word to rescue Fenton but it soon becomes apparent that meat manufacturing is the least of their worries. Botched operations, a divided and corrupt workforce, and a bleak landscape filled with desperate and disillusioned characters provide the backdrop for Ward's chilling journey into the dark underworld of the north, where it is not always clear who is running, or exactly whom they are running from.