Heavy rain falls on Lafferton, flooding the cathedral town and causing a landslip out on the moors. As the rain water slowly drains away, a shallow grave - and a skeleton - are revealed. It doesn't take long to identify the remains as those of missing teenager, Harriet Lowther, who was last seen sixteen years ago. But a cold case isn't a priority for a police force already struggling with staff shortages and cuts: if Detective Inspector Simon Serrailler is to solve the case, he will have to do it alone. Meanwhile, his sister, Dr Cat Deerbon, is fighting for funding to prevent the closure of the local hospice that offers respite to so many of her patients.
Susan Hill's novels and short stories have won the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham and John Llewellyn Rhys awards, and the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She is the author of fifty six books. The play adapted from her famous ghost story, The Woman in Black, has been running in the West End since 1989; it is also a major feature film. Her crime novels featuring DCS Simon Serrailler are currently being adapted for TV. Susan Hill was born in Scarborough and educated at King's College London. She is married to the Shakespeare scholar Stanley Wells, and they have two daughters. Susan Hill was appointed a CBE in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Honours.