The evening Rose Bentley takes a short-cut home across the marsh proves a fateful one. Panicked by the rising tide and struggling on a sprained ankle, it is no wonder she imagines seeing a dead body in a mud-drowned gully. Her rescuer Michael Dowland, the brusque but attractive son of the mill owner, assures her there is nothing there. In the cosy warmth of the kitchen at Dowland's Mill, visions of dead bodies do seem far-fetched, and soon Rose begins to fall in love with both man and house.
Once installed in the Mill as Michael's wife, Rose sees a different picture. Despite her gentle manner, Mrs Dowland rules her family with a rod of iron. More worrying to Rose is the change in Michael who is no longer the loving man she married. But Rose is only beginning to discover the truth about the family at Dowland's Mill . . .