It’s the holiday season in a peaceful Yorkshire village, but there are no glad tidings for Caroline Hartley, brutally stabbed to death in her own home. Her body, naked and bloody, is found by her lover, Veronica, three days before Christmas. Detective Constable Susan Gay and Chief Inspector Alan Banks must unravel Caroline’s enigmatic past to discover her killer. This is no small task, as the suspects include Veronica’s ex-husband, a feminist poet, the cast and crew of Caroline’s play, and Caroline’s reclusive brother. Gay, recently promoted, has much at stake professionally, and Banks is keen to solve this puzzle, but family secrets and hidden desires must first come to light. Fifth in the critically acclaimed Inspector Banks Mystery Series.