Stepping over the threshold of a once happy family home, DCI Michael Thackeray faces a grim sight. In the kitchen lie the bloody bodies of a mother and her daughter. Outside, a trail of blood in the snow leads to another victim, a young girl barely alive. The father, Gordon Christie, and another child are missing. The police conclude that the scene is the result of a domestic row turned violent. But when journalist Laura Ackroyd tries to find out more about the missing man, she finds no traceable records of Gordon Christie. Thackeray’s investigation is blocked at every turn and the case begins to look more complex than first assumed.