The house on Gallows Green is a charming, chocolate-box cottage in an idyllic Somerset village. Dick and Rosemary Brown move there, to escape a gritty, drug-fuelled city and its spiralling gang violence. Rural life will be so much safer. Or will it? Why did the previous owners suddenly disappear and why will no one talk about them? With London in the grip of a sizzling heatwave, Detective Inspector Jack Dawes and his wife, Corrie, attend the Browns' housewarming party. In the leafy tranquillity of the village Jack expects a relaxing break from crime, but soon a number of disturbing events lead him to realize there is a sinister side to Gallows Green with its thatched roofs, bright gardens and dark secrets. And murder seems to follow Jack around. With the mystery deepening and the tally of corpses reaching an all-time high, the murders must be solved before Dawes is finally able to return home...