On a warm summer night, an attractive woman hurtles north in a blue Peugeot with a hastily scrawled address in her pocket, while, back in London, a desperate man leaves an urgent late-night phone message on his brother's answering machine. By sunrise the next morning, the woman is found inside her car along an otherwise peaceful country lane, shot, execution-style, through the head.Welcome to the idyllic Yorkshire Dales, where Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot arrives on the scene and discovers, to her surprise, a slip of paper in the dead woman's pocket that bears the name of her colleague and erstwhile lover, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. Banks, meanwhile -- already haunted and withdrawn after nearly dying in the fire that destroyed his home -- has gone missing just when he's needed most, and has left plenty of questions behind.As Annie struggles to determine whether or not Banks is safe -- and what role he may have played in the woman's murder -- Banks himself investigates the mysterious disappearance of his estranged brother, Roy, whose late-night call for help brings Banks back to London. Working from Roy's swank apartment, Banks makes the rounds to Roy's old haunts and slowly inhabits the life of his younger brother -- the black sheep of the family, who always seemed to sail a little too close to the wind. As the trail of clues about Roy's life and associations draws Banks into a dark circle of conspiracy and corruption, mobsters and murder, Banks suddenly realizes he's running out of time to save Roy, and by digging too deep, he may be exposing himself and his family to the same -- possibly deadly -- danger.