The village school is to get a new head, and the inhabitants of Turnham Malpas await her arrival with curiosity. At first sight, Kate Pascoe seems ideal. She's young, pretty and obviously loves her job. But when she introduces meditation classes for her ten-year-olds, and even tree-hugging, the villagers begin to think again. Then a strange malaise afflicts the whole village: lights are seen in Sykes Wood at night; a dog long dead appears to come to life and a sudden shocking death plunges the village into a state of superstitious dread. And always at the eye of the storm is Kate Pascoe...