Simon Serrailler is faced with that most complicated of investigations, a cold case. Heavy rain falls on Lafferton, flooding the cathedral town and causing a landslip out on the moors. As the rain water slowly drains away, a shallow grave, and a skeleton, are revealed. It doesn't take long to identify the remains as those of missing teenager, Harriet Lowther, who was last seen sixteen years ago. But a cold case isn't a priority for a police force already struggling with staff shortages and cuts: if Detective Inspector Simon Serrailler is to solve the case, he will have to do it alone. How long will it take to trawl through the old, stale evidence and assess it anew?