The tale begins through the eyes of Tom, a young teacher/lecturer lodging in Wales and totally in love with the ethereal, otherworldly and bewitchingly beautiful daughter of his landlord, Annet. Annet Beck, so introvert and contained, has earned herself the whispered moniker of witch. So when she disappears for five days and reappears on a fabled haunted hill, called the Hallowmount, without any apparent knowledge of the time in between, some can readily believe she's been claimed by faeries.
Not so kindly but canny Inspector George Felse, whose son Dominic is friends with one of Annet's most ardent youthful admirers (one Mike Mallandine). It quickly becomes apparent that there is a sinister secret behind Annet's absence, especially when it is revealed that she was spotted at the scene of a deadly crime.
It's up to Felse and friends of the beautiful if misguided girl to discover the truth, and the identity of the 'faery man' she's protecting, before he kills again...
A good read, in Ellis Peters's usual lyrical style. Though not crammed full of clues to solve, still enjoyable as a mystery and a look at life in a hillside community.