"The tension simply builds up and up..."
Detective Jimmy Perez is bringing his fiancé Fran home to the Fair Isles to spend time with his parents on their croft. The autumn storms are keeping the islands isolated. Everyone from the long term inhabitants to the temporary residents on the birding station know each other, and more than one has a secret to keep. Fran has to adjust to the closed community and is apprehensive about her possible future if Jimmy chooses to return to the islands.
Maurice is the birding centre administrator and when his wife, scientist and celebrity Angela, is found dead with feathers threaded through her hair, Jimmy Perez is left to investigate without any of his normal backup. Angela had a knack of antagonising people and amongst the locals and visitors there are several who would have a motive for killing her.
The pressure is on for Jimmy as the killer must still be on the island and may still need to kill again. He is also on edge as Fran and his parents get to know each other, and begin to plan an engagement party on the island...