It's been all of twenty years since Alicia Parnell last saw Sturrenden. While she was still a schoolgirl a jilted boyfriend killed himself, and her parents tactfully moved away from that corner of Kent. Nevertheless the old crowd are delighted when she turns up out of the blue one day. Just why she has chosen to come back, no-one can guess. But within hours Alicia has been found strangled, and Inspector Luke Thanet is called upon to solve her murder, a task that will involving delving deep into the past.