When the luxury yacht Helen Brooks was last seen on is found abandoned amid the treacherous marshlands of the Humber Estuary, foul play is suspected. However, in the absence of a body, nothing can be proven. The owner of the yacht, ambitious businessman Simon Fowler, seems unprepared even to offer any sort of explanation as to what Helen was doing on board. A year later, Hull private investigator Leo Rivers is approached by Alison Brooks, Helen's mother, to investigate both the background to this disappearance and Fowler. Rivers is drawn through a long, hot summer into a world of human trafficking and governmental corruption at every turn. In the stifling heat there are many questions and few people prepared to offer adequate answers. Each unravelled piece of the mystery moves Rivers further from the vanished girl and deeper into a web of exploitation, greed, temptation, revenge and violence, from which even he is unable to extricate himself without unforeseen and tragic consequences...