Two friends try to turn small-town gossip into a reasonable murder investigation when they discover a body and some clues that spur them on.
Veterinarian Tony Harrison is a nice guy. At least, that’s what his closest friend, Alex Duggins, reassures him when she tries to understand why Tony doesn’t stop on seeing a woman crouched at the side of the road in his small town of Folly-on-Weir. Alex helps Tony re-enact the scene to make sure that what he’s seen isn’t a figment of his imagination, and that’s when things begin to get creepy. First they stumble on an abandoned pair of binoculars as they approach the ruins of the building nearest the re-enactment, the deserted Ebring Manor. Then they find evidence of a body in a well on the property. Both suspect that the body is that of Pamela Gibbons, who’s recently disappeared without a trace. When the two bring talk of the death back to The Black Dog, the tavern Alex manages, the town swirls with rumors about who could have done Pamela in. The public suspect No. 1 is Harry Stroud, a wealthy eccentric who happens to be a childhood acquaintance of Alex. Because of her connection to Harry, Alex feels compelled to learn more about his relationship with Pamela, even if it brings her into danger’s way. Tony just wants to keep Alex safe and find out if their friendship is finally becoming something more.
Many characters but little character development, and the story luxuriates in gruesome details. Though Cameron (Second to None, 2012, etc.) obviously loves her characters, she assumes the reader’s interest rather than earns it.