It sends a shiver down Detective Superintendent Alan Markby's spine when he hears that a rambler has stumbled across human bones in Stovey Woods in the heart of the Cotswolds. Twenty-two years earlier, as a fresh-faced young inspector, he had a rare failure, in the hunt for a brutal serial rapist preying on local women.
After the third rape, the attacker went to ground, never to be heard of again. Now, with a new investigation prompted by the grisly remains, the trail could be warm once more. But almost immediately Markby is confronted with another body and a thoroughly up-to-date murder.
Could the two be connected? Perhaps, but it seems that some of the village residents would be just as happy to let sleeping dogs lie and secrets - both old and new - stay hidden...