Two young girls disappear, but return home unharmed some days later. Around the same time, a convicted paedophile is released back into thecommunity. The residents of an estate in Kingsmarkham are up in arms, and even prepared to take the law into their own hands... Chief Inspector Wexford is not only concerned very personally with the effects of violence and prejudice, but is also involved with a newprogramme called Hurt-Watch, to help the victims of domestic violence.His daughter, Sylvia, the social worker and never his favourite, has come to work nearby in a refuge for battered women, called The Hide. Her marriage is in difficulties, although her husband has never raised a hand to her. They are merely incompatable.