Nina Crowther has just been told by her husband of 25 years that he wants a divorce so he can marry his longtime, now-pregnant mistress. So Nina is understandably in an emotional tizzy as she takes a temporary job house-sitting at ""The Hall,"" an isolated country-village mansion owned by the rich Blunt family. Slowly she becomes caught up in the lives of the Blunts and their only neighbors: retired Colonel Guy Jowett, with his devoted wife Heather--old before her time, trying to hold together a threadbare family manse and the deteriorating Colonel's self-respect. (He's holding tight to a secret even Heather doesn't know.) And Nina soon acquires a would-be suitor--in almost-middle-class gardener Dan Fenton, who has his secret. Could these secrets have to do with a series of wordless late-night phone calls. . . or with a succession of murdered young girls found around the countryside? They could indeed. So there'll be a tragic resolution before the loose ends are neatly tied; and Nina will make an exit into a more independent life. As much romance as mystery, sensitive and civilized in tone--but, like Yorke's previous pyschological-suspense efforts, this initially grabbing tale peters out rather disappointingly toward the end.