A faceless corpse is discovered in a tranquil, hidden valley below the village of Swainshead. And when Chief Inspector Alan Banks arrives, he finds that no-one is willing to talk. Bankss frustration only grows when the identity of the body is revealed. For it seems that his latest case may be connected with an unsolved murder in the same area five years ago. Among the silent suspects are the Collier brothers, the wealthiest and most powerful family in Swainsdale. When they start to use their influence to slow down the investigation, Inspector Alan Banks finds himself in a race against time . . .