On their way home from a motoring holiday in France, DC Sukey Reynolds and her colleague Vicky Armstrong observe a man whose behaviour strikes them as suspicious - although on investigation their suspicions are dismissed by their superior officers as groundless. Then the man is killed in a road accident. The police have difficulty in tracing his next of kin, and their enquiries show that he had links with a recently convicted drug dealer. Meanwhile, DS Rathbone and Sukey are sent to deal with another, more gruesome incident: a woman's dismembered body has been found, washed up on the shores of the Bristol Channel. As investigations proceed, the two separate lines of enquiry become increasingly complex. Sukey's hunch that the cases are connected is brushed aside - but could a coded reference to a Greek god and a Chinese tattoo meaning death supply the missing piece of the puzzle?