It sends a shiver down Detective Superintendent Alan Markby's spine when he hears that a rambler has stumbled on human bones in Stovey Woods in the heart of the Cotswolds. Twenty-two years ago, 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 at once Markby is confronted with another body and a thoroughly up-to-date murder. Could the two be connected? 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...