When the body of a theology student is found on the East Anglian coast, his wealthy father demands a re-examination of the accidental death verdict. Commander Adam Dalgliesh agrees to help and returns to his childhood haunt only to find himself embroiled in intrigue, conflict and secrets.
Venetia Aldridge QC agrees to defend Garry Ashe, accused of murdering his aunt. Four weeks later she is found dead. Commander Adam Dalgliesh finds motives for murder among her clients, colleagues, family - even her lover. As Dalgliesh narrows the field of suspects, a second brutal murder draws them into greater complexities of intrigue and evil.