Longtime business partners decide to go their separate ways. Then, one of the men is savagely murdered, and his body is strung up in an old tithe barn on his estate. When Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is called in to investigate, he finds a whole village full of suspects, including the victim's wife and even the head of the police. It seems the man was universally despised.
Rutledge doggedly follows a sparse trail that ultimately leads him to the one person who knows the whole truth. But by then, a secret from the past has unleashed more evil.
Rutledge begins to understand the larger picture but isn't sure he can prove much of what he suspects. Is this to be the only case where Rutledge doesn't get his man?