After a dog walker discovers human remains in a badger sett in the idyllic Salisbury countryside, DI Ford is called in to lead the ensuing murder investigation. When a second victim turns up in a nearby pond, Ford is determined to find the connection.
Both victims met their fate near the sprawling Alverchalke Estate, ancestral home of a decorated war hero and his family. One was a dogged eco-activist and vocal critic of Lord Baverstock. The other was a petty criminal and poacher, youngest brother of a notorious local crime family. Certain that there’s more to this case than trespassing, Ford and Dr Hannah Fellowes race to find the hidden link. But when one victim’s family threatens to expose Ford’s own dark secret, the ticking clock becomes a time bomb.
Still consumed by guilt over his part in his wife’s tragic accident and struggling to raise the teenage son he lied to, Ford now finds himself losing control of the investigation. Can he work with Hannah to solve the case while privately fighting off the attempted blackmail? Or have his demons finally caught up with him?