A troubling disappearance. A puzzling mystery. A new investigation for Detective Wycliffe. Detective Superintendent Wycliffe is holidaying in Cornwall when he meets the intriguing Kemp family. The Kemps have lived in Kellycork, their decaying family seat, for almost 500 years and have a tragic history. Roger Kemp's first wife disappeared mysteriously in what was presumed to be a boating accident and now the Kemps are struggling to maintain their family home. When Roger's wealthy second wife, Bridget, also disappears Wycliffe is inevitably drawn into the case. Wycliffe is troubled by the dysfunctional family he is investigating. Can the loss of their mother account for the Kemp children's strange behaviour or is there a more sinister explanation? And why is his main suspect doing so little to save himself?