When Meredith Mitchell picks up a hitchhiker on a lonely road outside Bamford one evening she is left feeling distinctly uneasy. What business can this confident, yet secretive, young woman have at Tudor Lodge, the beautiful old home of Brussels-based lawyer Andrew Penhallow, where she asks to be dropped? Penhallow is constantly toing and froing from the Continent, but that night, unusually, he is at home, and - with his son away and his wife Carla in bed with a migraine - alone. Which is unfortunate, for the next morning he is found murdered in the garden. To the vicarious delight of the locals, who are quick to recall old disputes, Penhallow's death results in some spectacular revelations about his double life - developments which make the murder investigation all the more delicate for Superintendent Markby, who knew the dead man as a young body. Andrew Penhallow certainly had ghosts in his past - has one come back to claim him?