". a substantial and absorbing read"
Chief Inspector Thomas Lynley, mourning his murdered wife, is walking the South West coast path to try to assuage his grief. On his walk he sees a climber fall to his death in an apparent accident. When it is proved that the climber's ropes were deliberately cut, the first persons on the scene, Lynley and the mysterious Daidre Trahair come under suspicion by the local police force. When Lynley's identity is revealed he is reluctantly co-opted onto the case along with his Scotland Yard colleague Barbara Havers. While the police want Lynley to dig into Daidre's past, he is convinced that an accident that took place twenty years ago may be of more relevance to the case. Furthermore, the private life of the fallen climber, Santo Kerne, seems to hold the key to his murder - his promiscuity having touched the lives of the local Cornish residents.