While DI Thomas Lynley is still on compassionate leave after the murder of his wife, Isabelle Ardery is brought into the Met as his temporary replacement. The discovery of a body in a Stoke Newington cemetery offers Isabelle the chance to make her mark with a high profile murder investigation. Persuading Lynley back to work seems the best way to guarantee a result: Lynley's team is fiercely loyal to him and Isabelle needs them - and especially Barbara Havers - on side. The Met is twitchy: a series of PR disasters has undermined its confidence. Isabelle knows that she'll be operating under the unforgiving scrutiny of the media, so is quick -- perhaps too quick -- to pin the murder on a convenient suspect. The murder trail leads Lynley and Havers to the New Forest, and the eventual resolution of the case. Its roots are in a long-ago act of violence that has poisoned subsequent generations and its outcome is both tragic and shocking.
Elizabeth George is the author of highly acclaimed novels of psychological suspense. Her first novel, A Great Deliverance, was honoured with the Anthony and Agatha Best First Novel awards in America and received the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere in France; Well-Schooled in Murder was awarded the prestigious German prize for international mystery fiction, the MIMI '1990'. Her novels have been adapted for television by the BBC as the Inspector Lynley Mysteries. An Edgar and Macavity Nominee as well as an international bestselling author, Elizabeth George lives in Whidbey Island in the state of Washington.