Elizabeth George's masterly new novel sees Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley back centre stage in an intricate crime drama. Lynley is approached by business magnate Bernard Fairclough for a confidential review of the circumstances of his nephew's demise. The coroner's verdict is accidental death. Still grieving for his wife, Lynley has personal reasons for welcoming a spell away from London in the Lake District. When he comes to know the various members of the Fairclough dynasty, Lynley finds many possible motives for murder, and uncovers layers of deceit and betrayal that expose the lies at the heart of the Cumbrian community.