The Kemps were a Cornish Catholic family who had held on to Kellycoryk, their family home, for almost five hundred years. But it was beginning to look as though the present century would be their last. Roger, head of the shrinking clan, was desparate to save the house and land. His second marriage, to the shrewd and tough businesswoman, Bridget, offered a way out.
There was no doubt at all that the girl was dead. The front of her skull and her facial bones had been splintered like the cracked shell of an egg. What made it even more shocking was the setting of the murder - an idyllic corner of the Scilly Isles where violent crime was almost unknown.
Wycliffe takles a case which reaches back down the generations.... When Cedric Tremain is charged with murdering his father by booby-trapping his fishing boat, all the locals are agreed that he is an unlikely murderer. But the case against him is strong: he has the motive, the opportunity, and the know-how; not to mention the fact that there is some hard circumstantial evidence against him.