Detective-Inspector Benjamin Jurnet is in that most common predicament of the human condition: desperately in love. Torn between joy and trepidation about his reunion with his beloved Miriam after a year's separation, he decides to take her on a drive to Lanthrop, a quaint English village with a lovely strip of beach along the sea. It is to be something of a holiday, even though Jurnet--once a copper, always a copper--does plan to stop by the dig where an archaeologist has complained that someone is tampering with the relics of Queen Boadicea. Jurnet and Miriam find a retreat made for lovers, but pleasure abruptly turns back to business when a brown, leathery arm, ending in a hand flexed like a beckoning claw, rears out of the sand like an accusation. The arm is attached to a body that is decidedly dead. In his ensuing investigation, Jurnet discovers that life in scenic Lanthrop is not as idyllic as it appears. A murder, a probably suicide, and a herd of pedigree goats with their throats slashed all prove that there throats slashed all prove that there is far more buried in the picturesque village than an archaeological treasure.
As his work separates him from Miriam yet again, Jurnet must confront the intricacies of love and desire. For love sometimes leads to murder, and it is only by probing the mysteries of the human heart -- including his own -- that Jurnet can find the solutions in this powerful and deeply satisfying novel of detection. 'S. T. Haymon is a strong, heated writer who does not flinch from entering uneasy territory.' Spectator 'Haymon is one of the most elegant writers around; her characters are complex and interesting, plotting is exact, and she has unerring feel for place.' The Times