A woman's body is found decomposing in a shallow grave, stab wounds to the neck and blows to the head and shoulders. She is identified as Yvonne, missing wife of local property developer John Blundell. When Antony Sumner, English teacher and Yvonne's lover, confesses to striking her down with his walking stick, it looks like an open and shut case for Detective Superintendent Geoffrey Bailey. Too much so thinks Crown Prosecutor Helen West. Sumner denies murder -- and where is the knife? And when Helen and Geoffrey dig deeper into the secrets of the sleepy commuter village what they discover is a hidden world of passion, envy and betrayal.