Tom Brown, disgraced former Home Secretary, is missing presumed dead. The police had been seeking him in connection with the deaths of several people, and his disappearance effectively closes the case. Grace Goody, Ministerial Director of Justice, is trying to rebuild her life in the light of a new romantic attachment, but always with the lurking threat of exposure given her involvement in Tom’s demise. When a photograph, taken by a journalist's girlfriend during a sailing trip around Scotland, raises serious doubts about the circumstances surrounding Tom's case, ripples of panic spread through Westminster's corridors of power.
Retired Detective Chief Inspector, David Gerrard, begins to take an interest in the case, placing himself in danger from forces seeking to suppress the evidence, including a deadly killer with some powerful connections, and a convicted murderer whom David put away twenty years ago and who has just been released. Meanwhile, Maggie, Tom’s wife, is called to a meeting in London where she is shown an image of a man who has recently used her husband’s debit card and, suddenly, for everyone close to the case, nothing appears to be straightforward any more.
As pressure mounts on Grace, she finds herself plunged into an international incident involving Hotel St Kilda, the UK's off-shore prison in the Atlantic, placing her at the centre of a potentially disastrous rift between the UK and its closest ally - a situation she will be fortunate to survive, Even if she does, what will be awaiting her back in London?