Leo Martindale, the dissolute son of a wealthy family, returns to Longford Hall after a twenty year absence. Before long his snow-covered corpse is lying outside the ancestral home he'd fled all those years before. Inspector Luke Thanet suspects foul play, especially when he finds out that Leo's return was an unpleasant shock not only to the whole village, but to his own family as well. Soon Thanet finds himself up against a chilling conspiracy of silence. Just who is being protected . . . and why?