Having renewed his relationship with college girlfriend Ellie Soper, Detective Peter Pascoe re-establishes contact with other school friends, who invite Ellie and Peter to spend a long weekend in the country with them. Work detains Peter, so that when Ellie and Peter arrive at the cottage, they find all their frinds brutally murdered, except for their host, who is missing.
Peter is out of his jurisdiction and on the other side of the witness table, trying desperately to convince his colleagues that his friend can't be the murderer.
Meanwhile Ellie does some investigating of her own, in which she finds an unexpected ally, the cop she detests, Superintendent Andy Dalziel.
If you have enjoyed later Dalziel and Pascoe books, don't miss this earlier effort. There are some great character developing scenes in this book, especially for Ellie and Dalziel.