A beautiful girl goes missing, and Wycliffe must untangle a mystery to solve a murder . . .
A beautiful schoolgirl goes missing from a Cornish village on the day she has told her boyfriend and sister she is pregnant. The possibility that she has been raped or murdered - or both - grows with every passing hour, and Chief Superintendent Wycliffe is brought in on the case.
The investigation reveals a complex network of family relationships and rivalries centred on the girl; and then Wycliffe finds a body - but not the one he expects. Have there been two murders? And if so, are they connected?
Wycliffe digs deeper, and soon realises that just beneath the normal, day-to-day surface of the community lies a web of hatred and resentment - a web he will have to untangle if he is to find the key to the mystery . . .