The gruesome discovery of several dead bodies on the moor sparks a police investigation and a heavy media presence in the remote North Yorkshire Village of Chellingford. When Adrian Brooks shows up at Jessica Scanlon's cottage, however, it is with another line of enquiry in mind. His sister, Laura, has disappeared, and he thinks watercolour artist Jessica might be able to help him find her. Jessica's friend Etta has also gone missing, and when she is called upon to identify of the bodies discovered by the police, she confirms that it is Etta. But Jessica's landlady Mildred seems to have other ideas. A mysterious suicide, an elaborate insurance scam and the arrival of nosy true crime writer Diana Wishart create further layers of intrigue that lead to a thrilling denouement.