In 1966 Sir Walter Springfellow, head of Australian intelligence, vanished mysteriously and without a trace. As a young constable, Scobie Malone investigated the disappearance. Years later some bones are found up in the hills which are presumed to be Sir Walter’s, and Detective Inspector Malone finds himself back on the case. His first task is to break the news to Venetia Springfellow, Sir Walter’s glamorous widow, whose ruthless ambition has made the Springfellow Corporation a hugely successful company. Then comes news that there has been another death in the family, and one of the Springfellows is to be charged with murder. The police commissioner turns out to have every reason for taking a close interest in the case, but emotional involvement results in his putting unfair pressure on Scobie Malone. Always a straight cop and a decent man, Malone finds his divided loyalties extremely troubling.