'Perhaps beneath the surface we're all capable of cruelty. Even if we don't intend it.'
'All right, you win. Let me explain why Ramona Smith had to die.'
DCI Hannah Scarlett is an acknowledged expert in solving cold cases, but she is struggling under the weight of bureaucracy when Ramona Smith's disappearance from Bowness more than twenty years ago crosses her desk.
The prime suspect was charged but found not guilty. Now the case comes back into the public eye as the result of a shocking tragedy on the Crooked Shore, the fount of dark legends in the south of the Lake District.
Tensions mount in the summer heat as a ruthless killer who has already got away with one murder plans further appalling crimes. Hannah finds herself racing against the clock as she strives to solve the mysteries and save innocent lives.