Devastated by the senseless murder of his wife, Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley retreated to Cornwall, where he has spent six solitary weeks hiking the bleak and rugged coastline. But no matter how far he walks, the painful memories do not diminish.
Then, at the base of a cliff near a town better known for its surfing than its intrigue, Lynley discovers the body of a young man who has fallen to his death. First a witness, then a suspect when the hand of a killer is revealed, Lynley remains, above all, a policeman willing to aid the gruff head of an understaffed local constabulary in her investigation. But the secrets in this community run dark and deep—and Lynley must somehow find a way to let go of the past long enough to solve a most devious and dreadful crime.
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Deborah's investigation of the prime suspect--Bernard's prodigal son Nicholas, a recovering drug addict--leads her to Nicholas's wife, a woman with whom she feels a kinship, a woman as fiercely protective as she is beautiful. Lynley and Simon delve for information from the rest of the family, including the victim's bitter ex-wife and the man he left her for, and Bernard himself. As the investigation escalates, the Fairclough family's veneer cracks, with deception and self-delusion threatening to destroy everyone from the Fairclough patriarch to Tim, the troubled son Ian left behind.
"Elizabeth George reigns as queen of the mystery genre. The Lynley books constitute the smartest, most gratifyingly complex and impassioned mystery series now being published."
The spellbinding new Inspector Lynley novel from Elizabeth George, New York Times bestselling author of Careless in Red and What Came Before He Shot Her.