Writer David Cleeve lived exactly the way a bestselling novelist should live - in an opulent house set in a beautiful corner of Cornwall. But beneath the successful facade was a private nightmare. For at regular intervals a sinister and mysterious warning was delivered to him: a single playing card, the Jack of Diamonds. Then, one day, the card arrived torn in half - and that night a murder was committed. Chief Superintendent Wycliffe was on holiday in the area but, far from relaxing, he finds himself drawn into the investigation. Before long there is more than just a single mystery to solve. As Wycliffe investigates, he uncovers a double murder, arson, and a whole series of crimes stretching back over many years...