Freak weather and flash floods all over southern England. Lafferton is underwater and a landslip on the Moor has closed the bypass. As the rain slowly drains away a shallow grave u and a skeleton u are exposed; twenty years on, the remains of missing teenager Joanne Lowther have finally been uncovered. The case is re-opened and Simon Serrailler is called in as Senior Investigating Officer.
Joanne, an only child, had been on her way home from a friend's house that afternoon. She was the daughter of a prominent local businessman, Sir John Lowther. Joanne's mother died -- heartbroken -- two years after her daughter disappeared. Cold cases are always tough, and in this latest in the acclaimed series from Susan Hill, Serrailler is forced to confront a frustrating, distressing and complex situation.