"It’s early spring of 1947 in idyllic King’s Cove, and the Hughes ladies, mère et filles, are gardening and sorting through the jars of food that have been put up for the winter. But while cleaning up after the roof of their root cellar has caved in slightly, they are horrified to discover a small skeletal hand embedded in the mess. Panicked, they call Lane Winslow, the ex-British secret service agent, and, not without some misgivings about the state of their tense relationship, Lane calls Inspector Darling.
Before long the police crew discover the body of a young child buried almost 40 years before. Who is the child, and why has it not been buried in the local cemetery? Inspector Darling, already busy dealing with a teenage girl who has gone on a destructive rampage at a local mill, asks Lane for help in unearthing the long-forgotten secrets of the early life of the tiny town, and the identity of the long-forgotten child."