It's a long, hot summer in Northern England's Peak District, where police helicopters darken blue skies and drown out the sound of birdsong. Fifteen-year-old Laura Vernon, smart, sexy, and the keeper of many secrets, is missing. Possibly she has run off to London. Possibly she's dead. The police search, the wealthy parents wait by the phone. Detective Constable Ben Cooper quietly dreads the worst. When retired miner Harry Dickinson and his black Labrador find the body lying in the woods, Harry's strangely obstinate refusal to cooperate with the investigation raises more than a few eyebrows. What about the parents? Graham Vernon is a man who knows all about secrets. What are he and his glamorous wife holding back? Ben Cooper, who lives with a personal tragedy and who has known the villagers all his life, finds himself uneasily teamed with an ambitious newcomer, Detective Constable Diane Fry, who has her own secrets. As Ben and Diane begin a complicated dance of suspicion, attraction, and frustration, they discover that to understand the present, they must also understand the past. Loyalty, betrayal, friendship, family - what do they mean, and what happens when loyalties clash? In the tradition of Reginald Hill, Minette Walters, Barbara Vine, and Peter Robinson, this richly textured, evocative, stylish novel marks the auspicious debut of a major crime-writing talent.