An enigmatic policeman - currently the subject of an internal investigation - is found burned to death in his car on the Southend sea front. A vulnerable young woman, fresh out of the care system, is trying to discover the truth behind the sudden death of her best friend. As DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell from the Essex Police Major Investigation Team are brought in to solve the mystery that surrounds their colleague's death, they're under intense pressure to crack the case without damaging the force's reputation. When a dramatic turn of events casts a whole new light on both cases, the way forward is far from clear. Were the victims connected in some way? And just how much should Pearson and Russell reveal to their bosses as they begin to unearth some dark secrets that the force would rather keep buried? Mark Hardie's stylish and gripping debut introduces a brilliant new detective duo to the world of crime fiction, weaving together two suspenseful stories that end in a breath-taking finale.