It takes a lot to rattle Jack Irish but, as Melbourne descends into a cold, wet winter, his mood is on the same trajectory. The woman in Jack's life has reconnected with an old flame. He has gambled and lost massively and seen a champion horse put down. It's not surprising that Jack's mind is not fully on the job he's being paid to do: find Robbie Colburne, occasional barman.
Jack Irish has a lot on his mind. His woman has an old flame, his champion horse has been put down and his gambling has left him for broke. No wonder then, that he's a bit distracted from the work he is getting paid for - looking for the elusive Robbie Colburne, occasional barman. He's not the only one. Robbie's caught the interest not only of the police, but also certain dealers from the city's criminal class.