The body found under the hedge was that of a middle-aged woman, biggish and gaunt. The grey eyes were wide and staring, an in them Detective Chief Inspector Wexford thought he saw a sardonic gleam, a glare, even in death, of scorn. But that must have been his imagination, and imagination was almost all he had to go on.
The woman was a stranger. Her handbag held little more than three keys on a ring and forty-two pounds in a new wallet. There was nothing to give him her address, her occupation or even her identity - let alone any clues that might lead to her killer. The woman was dead, but, as Wexford knew only too well, death by murder, is, in a way, not an end but a beginning . . .