In a tranquil village on the Roseland Peninsula of Cornwall, sits an old round house by the sea, beloved home of the newly arrived Baxter family. The close-knit farming community has been kindly and welcomed the newcomers. But then, in this idyllic setting, the body of a teenage girl is washed up on the beach, discovered by the Baxters’ younger boy.
Championship surfer Dave Tregenza returns to his native Cornwall for a surprise visit, only to find his sister-in-law and aunt in turmoil because Jonathan, his brother, has disappeared without a trace.
Several days later, Jonny’s dead body is discovered on a remote beach just a few miles from the satellite earth station at Goonhilly Downs. The police suspect a link between Jonny and the site, and DCI Channon, with previous experience in suspected sabotage, is called in to help with the case.
Following the split from her husband, Helen Pascoe decides to take her children away from London to live in a lovely old house near Falmouth. The family are beginning to feel happy and settled, when the local community is stunned by a murder. A young man has been found stabbed at the crossroads of two narrow lanes - a place where legend says a gibbet once stood. It is DCI Channon's territory, and he soon finds that the victim is connected to the Pascoe family, as well as to other residents of the once humble fishing village.