DCI Serrailler reopens an investigation of a missing girl when her body is found.
The quiet Cathedral town of Lafferton is hunkered down for a storm whose hard rains uncover bones that have been hidden for years. DCI Simon Serrailler discovers that the bones belong to Harriet Lowther, a teenager who went missing nearly 15 years ago. While he tries to determine who would hurt a perfectly harmless schoolgirl, the investigation must be reconsidered in light of the discovery of a second set of bones in the same area. Meanwhile, Si’s sister, Dr. Cat Deerbon, is settling into a new routine after the loss of her husband while providing steady support to longtime patients like Jocelyn Forbes. Just as Simon trusts his instincts when it comes to interviewing suspects, Cat has a second sense about what may be ailing Jocelyn, and the news isn’t good. Blended with these stories is the thread of Lenny Wilcox and her longtime life partner Olive, who’s been kicked out of yet another care home. Olive’s dementia and temperament make her impossible for Lenny to live with. Will Dr. Fison’s new facility offer Olive a more permanent home? Actions build to a never-quite-realized climax whose incompleteness is the only flaw in this otherwise compelling story.
Though the many threads of the tale never fully come together, each throws new light on the ethics of death and dying. Fans and newcomers to Hill’s series (The Vows of Silence, 2009, etc.) will appreciate the characters’ deep humanity.