When Juliet Doyle finds a gun in her daughter's bedroom, she turns to old friend DCI Alan Banks for advice.
But Banks is on a much-needed holiday, and it's left to DI Annie Cabbot to deal with the removal of the firearm.
No one can foresee the operation's disastrous consequences, or that the Doyles will not be the only family affected. Banks's daughter Tracy has fallen for the wrong boy. Her flatmate's boyfriend is attractive, ambitious, and surrounded by an intoxicating air of mystery. He's also very dangerous. When Tracy warns him the police might be on his tail, he persuades her to go on the run with him, and flattered by his attention, she agrees.
Before she knows it, a deadly chase across the country is set in motion. And on his return, unsuspecting of Tracy's precarious situation, Banks is plunged into his most terrifying, personal case yet.
A dead body. Hidden secrets. Banks will find the truth.
The brutally murdered body of a supposedly well-liked local historian is found half-buried under a dry stone wall. But who would kill such a thoughtful, dedicated man?
Young Sally Lumb, locked in her lover's arms on the night of the murder, tries to find the killer herself. But her good-intentions only leads to more danger. And when Chief Inspector Alan Banks is called to investigate and soon discovers that disturbing secrets lie behind the seemingly untroubled façade . . .
In the early hours of a cold January morning, two narrow boats catch fire on the dead-end stretch of the Eastvale canal. When signs of accelerant are found at the scene, DCI Banks and DI Annie Cabbot are summoned. But by the time they arrive, only the smouldering wreckage is left, and human remains have been found on both boats.
The evidence points towards a deliberate attack. But who was the intended victim? Was it Tina, the sixteen-year-old who had been living a drug-fuelled existence with her boyfriend? Or was it Tom, the mysterious, lonely artist?
As Banks makes his enquiries, it appears that a number of people are acting suspiciously: the interfering 'lock-keeper', Tina's cold-hearted step-father, the wily local art dealer, even Tina's boyfriend . . .
Then the arsonist strikes again, and Banks's powers of investigation are tested to the limit . . .
One foggy night, Deborah Harrison is found lying in the churchyard behind St Mary's, Eastvale. She has been strangled with the strap of her own school satchel.
But Deborah was no typical sixteen-year old. Her father was a powerful financier who moved in the highest echelons of industry, defence and classified information. And Deborah, it seemed, enjoyed keeping secrets of her own . . .
With his colleague Detective Constable Susan Gay, Inspector Alan Banks moves along the many suspects, guilty of crimes large and small. And as he does so, plenty of sordid secrets and some deadly lies begin to emerge . . .
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