When Daniel Winterton's ambitious wife, Caroline, went missing from their country home, leaving a little daughter in the charge of her nanny, Mike Yeadings was involved as a sergeant in the investigation. He had hopes that the case would advance his career, however Caroline and her current lover were traced to the Canary Islands, where the trail abruptly ended.
Eight years later the case is brought back to Detective Superintendent Yeadings' attention. This time Winterton's daughter Julie, now eleven years old, has vanished. The circumstances of her disappearance are immediately suspicious and Winterton is distraught.
Yeadings' Thames Valley team-DI Mott, Sergeant Beaumont and Rosemary Zyczynski-work to uncover the lonely child's secrets and probe the movements of eccentrics on the periphery of the Winterton's circle. Has Caroline at last returned to claim her abandoned child? Or has Julie been snatched for some far more sinister purpose?