From the first day he sets foot in the house, Matthew Gardner begins to realise that life with Caroline is going to be infinitely tougher than he hoped. Not only is he to live in the house that belonged to his new wife's first husband, two of her three teenage daughters, Flic and Imogen, charming to him in public, absolutely loathe him. These two young sociopaths in the making are utterly determined to get rid of their stepfather. And their means are chillingly ruthless.
At Challow Hall Children's Home, a group of four children - abandoned, abused, neglected - had been drawn to each other early on, bonded by their shared experience. When they first start acting out parts from Lord of the Flies, it is an innocent, childish game. But then one of their support workers joins in - a woman in a position of responsibility and trust - and the game gradually takes on a more sinister edge.