A rather unlikely duo, they come from two very different worlds, albeit only seven miles apart – Joe Snowball, unemployed ex-miner in a village forgotten by the world, and the Hon. Hermione Pink, slightly disenchanted senior lecturer at the third oldest university in England, an ivory tower almost encircled by the River Wear.

Together, they wrestle with the collision between moral philosophy and the sundry dilemmas encountered by the not-always-good people of Ferryhill, deprived of jobs, opportunities and the kind of ethical guidance once offered by the Methodist Church and the National Union of Mineworkers.

Should a man bent on suicide be stopped – or allowed to do as he wishes? Should one always tell the truth even if it has bad consequences?

The philosophy is thought provoking, the unlikely partnership is intriguing, and the world of Ferryhill is a humorous, engaging and sometimes challenging place to visit.