When the mutilated remains of a fourteen-year-old boy are discovered, it becomes apparent someone is using the desolate landscape of the West Pennine Moors as a killing field.
Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fotheringay spends her days at the local library. Researching the history of the Radfields, once-powerful landowners who owned swathes of the countryside, including the farm she now calls home.
When author, Patrick Fossey, agrees to visit, Jenna is thrilled. But when she takes Fossey to the old gamekeeper’s cottages, nothing could prepare them for the horror that lies within.
Ronnie Fotheringay is a farmer to the core, dark earth beneath his fingernails, money in the bank but bailer twine holding up his trousers. A man who adores his only granddaughter. Now, in his twilight years he lives for the times they share long walks, imparting knowledge which Jenna, absorbs with relish.
At first, he is delighted when Fossey takes an interest in her research. Yet as fear grips the local community and the murder count rises, Ronnie knows it was a mistake as Fossey digs into a history Ronnie would sooner lay buried.
Like the town, DS Lasser feels jaded, frayed around the edges, the constant cycle of drugs and scrotes never-ending.
The Jones family are drunks, benefit scroungers and no strangers to the inside of a prison, young Billy Jones rapidly following suit. So, when he fails to return home it's hardly a surprise.
As clues lead to the now, poverty-stricken Radfield family, Lasser is convinced they have found their man. However, when another body is revealed, his convictions are thrown into turmoil. It is all too easy, the clues too convenient, someone is playing a vicious game, someone with a burning hatred for the Radfield family.
Lasser finds himself in a race against time trying to unravel the dark secrets that bind the two families. Secrets stretching back over four decades, blackmail and murder reaching out to ensnare the innocent as well as the guilty.