When Keith Wilson, an art teacher at Grasmere Academy is murdered, DI Elizabeth Jewell expects to lead the investigation. Within hours, her new boss DCI Liam Yeats takes over and excludes both her and Sergeant Patterson from the case without giving a valid reason. However, Yeats's policy is short lived when he realises alienating Jewell and her team is counterproductive.
Jacob Morven, a Canadian citizen from a remote area of North-Western British Columbia is the prime suspect. Although the evidence against him points to his guilt, DI Jewell has doubts. Keith Wilson, the victim, had boasted of a change in his fortune, implying he was about to receive a substantial amount of money. With this in mind, Jewell looks further afield for other suspects. As the mystery deepens, Jewell and Patterson look back almost three hundred years to the origins of a lost artefact.
Amidst escalating dissent at Park Road HQ, Elizabeth tackles yet another problem. Where is her previous boss, DCS Daly and is his unexpected disappearance connected to the current situation?