For seventeen years, the Cambridgeshire hamlet of Jude's Ferry has lain abandoned, requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence for military training in 1990. The isolated, 1,000-year-old community was famous for one thing - never having recorded a single crime.
But when local reporter Philip Dryden joins the Territorial Army on exercise in the empty village, its spotless history is literally blown apart. For the TA's shells expose a hidden cellar beneath the old pub. And inside the cellar hangs a skeleton, a noose around its neck . . .
Two days later, a man is pulled from the reeds in the river near Ely - he has no idea who he is or how he got there. But he knows the words 'Jude's Ferry' are important - and he knows he is afraid . . .