A priest. A psychopath. A prostitute. A policeman. Who would you accuse?
When Trisha Stanton Smith's body is battered into oblivion and her house burnt down, the obvious suspect is her abusive ex-husband. Despite his claim of an alibi, Piers Stanton Smith goes to prison for life.
When the alibi is unexpectedly confirmed, Superintendent Michael McKenna is charged with investigating whether members of Houghton police suppressed vital evidence in the case. Seconded with his team to the bleak Pennine landscape, he is hounded by a tabloid journalist, feared by the local police, and tormented by the powerful parish priest. McKenna unravels lies, mischief and the patterns of love and hatred, finally uncovering the truth behind a cloak of shameful secrets.