Detective Inspector Keith Tyrell, the hero of A Fine and Private Place, is back. And the youthful good looks, keen deductive ability, and healthy ambition that have propelled his brilliant career continue to nettle his senior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Whittaker. That Whittaker also seems now to be teetering on the edge of reason only further complicates Tyrell's investigation into the deaths of four girls in the Forest of Dean. Whereas conflicting forensic evidence at the crime scenes have convinced Tyrell that he is looking for more than one killer, DCI Whittaker disagrees--and pulls Tyrell off the case. Challenged by increasingly perplexing events--the bones of a long-dead baby surface, another young girl goes missing, an old man mysteriously dies--the recalcitrant Tyrell takes advantage of the DCI's abrupt leave of absence to resume his investigation. He identifies the person responsible for one of the deaths; he interrogates the man he's almost certain is the second killer. Then a hacker penetrates the police files and publishes the suspect's name along with the evidence against him on the Internet. And the thirst for justice also takes a deadly turn in the Forest of Dean.