As the editor of a popular left-wing tabloid, Dennis Luxford has made a career out of a scandal. But this time the scoop involves his own daughter. To save the life of his child, Luxford must expose the girl's mother - Eve Bowen, now Under Secretary of State for the Home Office. And Eve refuses to involve the police, convinced that Charlotte's disappearance is just one more shabby tabloid ploy. Only when events take an unbearable turn is New Scotland Yard brought in, in the guise of Detective Inspector Lynley and his partner, Barbara Havers. And as their investigations move from Westminster to Wiltshire, Lynley and Havers discover that treachery and betrayal lie perilously close to home.