In the mid-Atlantic the Clerkenwell family yacht goes to the aid of a drifting life raft. Minutes later, Steve Clerkenwell lies dead in his wife's arms, and their son, Adam has killed his father's murderer with a boathook. In the raft is a bound-and-gagged woman. Back in Falmouth the woman disappears and Adam is seemingly thwarted by the police, prompting him and his father's best friend, Tom, to start their own investigation. They find themselves drawn into a web of deceit and corruption in high places at home and abroad, and Adam soon loses his youthful innocence as he and Tom battle for justice and retribution.