The loving quicksands which border this strip of British coast are indeed deadly in 1798 and by the time twenty-eight-year-old Margaret and brooding, French Philippe, ex lovers, have straightened out their own past and present mysteries, two principals and lesser personae have been ingested. Margaret is a poor cousin of a colonel with two odd daughters, and she arrives at the manse as housekeeper; Philippe, a war prisoner, is to tutor. Soon both become involved in spying to locate a prison leak of French escapees and to find out what one mad daughter is up to in strange places during strange hours. At the end one daughter goes bonkers while the other goes under. An explicit gothic with few surprises, but easily within the popular norm for the genre.