A middle-aged couple, Max and Amanda Williams, disappear. They enjoyed a modest but comfortable lifestyle, seemed to have no enemies, and had two adult successful children.
Detective Inspector George Hennessey of the City of York Police instinctively feels from the outset that there has been foul play, and his suspicions are confirmed when the bodies of the missing couple are found in a shallow grave. But the discovery of the bodies is only the beginning in a case that will test the police to their limits. For a start, it appears that no one could benefit from their murder as they had lost a fortune in a short space of time. And then both, apparently unknown to each other, had been involved in illicit liaisons, one sexual, the other financial. Added to this is the strange behaviour of the couple's son and a mystery in the family's past.
Hennessey, a man haunted by tragedy in his own life, finds the road to a solution littered with conflicting clues and misinformation. From the position of having no suspects at all, he soon finds there are all too many people who wished the Williamses harm.