Against her better judgement, Rina Martin accepts an invitation to a country house hotel with a sinister reputation and looks forward to leaving when she is joined by DI MacGregor, but a blizzard prevents their departure and then Edwin Holmes, grand old man of psychic research, is found murdered in his bed.
When a body is washed up on a beach a short distance from Frantham, the first assumption is that it must be Edward Parker who had fallen from Marlborough Head just a couple of weeks before. When the badly battered body is examined, however, it is discovered to be the body of Pat Duggan, son of local nightclub owner Jimmy Duggan. It seems Pat had been abducted. Twice. And, to complicate matters, the missing Edward Parker had worked for Jimmy Duggan and disappeared at the same time as Duggan's son. Coincidence? Mac and Rina don't think so....
The British empire was on the verge of revolution and at the centre of events are the Stuart sisters: Mary the Queen, and Anne the Queen-to-be, continually haunted by the memory of their father, James II, whom they have wronged.
After a successful acting career, Rina Martin is retired. DI Sebastian 'Mac' McGregor is looking to recover after an investigation gone terribly wrong. George Parker and his mother and sister are on the run from a violent past. All three believe they have found a sanctuary in the sleepy town of Frantham but when an old lady is murdered, peace is proven to be an illusion.
When DI McGregor came to Frantham he was a broken man, guilt ridden at the death of a child he had tried to save, whose killer had escaped. But he found friendship and romance. Now his past is catching up with him. There are new leads in the child-killer case, and Mac rejoins the hunt only to become the hunted.
Two strangers arrive at Hundred Acre Field and the rumour is that a large housing estate is to be built there. While the protests and public enquiry take place, the villagers have other cause for shaking their heads when Miss Jackson falls in love and Joseph Coggs takes flight from Tyler's Row.