A high-profile murder investigation for Wycliffe, in Cornwall's heartland. Cochran Wilder disappeared fifteen years ago while on a walking holiday in Cornwall. Recently released from a psychiatric hospital after being convicted of indecent assault, he had been a serious embarrassment to his father, a prominent MP. Now his body has been found, buried in the dunes. It is clear that he was murdered. Wycliffe suspects the involvement of six people, now well-established figures in the community, who at the time had been spending an illicit weekend at a chalet near where Wilder's body was found. All are disturbed by Wycliffe's interest and by a series of threatening anonymous communications. But then a second murder is committed and the investigation takes on a new urgency.