On an otherwise unremarkable afternoon, two boys who had spent most of the day paddling about on the dark waters of the old gravel pit pulled in to the side to refresh themselves with Mars Bars and crisps. They made landfall at a slightly different spot from where they had put their canoe into the water that morning, which explained why they had missed it then. They saw the pale white hand of a dead man, partially screened by a bush that overhung the black water of the artificial lake, breaking the surface.
Before then Terry Brett, a personable con-man, has 'befriended' Alice Armitage, an elderly and lonely widow, knowing he is on to a good thing. But when he joins forces with Alice's scheming neighbour, his greed takes him further than he had planned - and he finds himself accused of a murder he did not commit ...