When Jez Cardew's boat is found drifting empty on the Atlantic Ocean, DI Ben Kitto and his fellow lifeboat crew members immediately fear the worst. After an extensive search yields no results, the team are forced to retreat to dry land as darkness sets in. But Kitto can't let it go. Why would Jez -- an experienced sailor - get into difficulty when the sea has been calm for weeks? Unless his disappearance was no accident. The gruesome discovery of a hand washed ashore on the beach confirms his hunch. Because a medal is attached to the index finger, and it can only have been placed there by the killer. Kitto must work fast, before the small, isolated community closes ranks. And it's only a matter of time before the murderer among them strikes again.