At the end of the Second World War, Matthew Wallingham returns home, blinded and uncertain about his future. Worse yet, his father is ill, and his mother is obviously unhappy, while his younger brother, who has made a success of running the farm on the family’s estate in the war years, is resentful of Matthew’s desire to help him. The only person Matthew feels he can talk to is his grandmother, but the rest of the family regards her as a holy terror.
Matthew soon realises that his future plans are not going to work, and he starts to look for a new career. He finds himself depending more and more on Liz, his nurse who becomes the focus of all his thoughts and his hopes for a future. But Liz has a shadow hanging over her, a shadow that will bring a terrifying violence into the Wallingham family’s life.