The seventeenth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford.
A by-pass is planned in the sleepy village of Kingsmarkham, a move that would destroy its peace and natural habitat forever. Wexford's wife Dora joins the protest movement, but Wexford must be more circumspect. Trouble is expected.
Before the protesters even have a chance to make their presence felt, the badly decomposed body of a young woman is discovered. Burden believes he knows the identity of the murderer, but Wexford is not convinced.
Just as Wexford is about to investigate the murder, a number of people disappear - including Dora Wexford. The Chief Inspector must battle with his powerful emotions and solve the case immediately, before his wife is placed in any mortal danger...
"One of the greatest novelists presently at work in our language ... A writer whose work should be read by anyone who either enjoys a brilliant mystery - or distinguished literature"
"The most brilliant mystery novelist of our time"
"With immaculate control, Ruth Rendell builds a menacing crescendo of tension and horror that keeps you guessing right up to the brilliantly paced finale"
"Without doubt the most distinguished living writer of crime stories... Ruth Rendell really makes the most of this beautifully-imagined plot"