As he leans over the body of an unidentified five-year-old girl shot in the back on a shabby London street, Superintendent Richard Jury knows he'll be facing one of the saddest investigations of his life. His colleague DI Johnny Blakeley, head of the pedophile unit of NSY, thinks he knows where this child came from - an iniquitous house on that same street, owned by well-known financier Viktor Baumann and fronted by a woman named Murchison. Blakeley has been trying to wreck their operation for a long time.
While examining the body of an unidentified woman murdered in the gardens of Declan Scott's estate, Angel Gate, Brian Macalvie, commander of the Devon and Cornwall police, realizes he's been here before. Three years prior, Declan's stepdaughter, four-year-old Flora, was abducted while she and her mother Mary were visiting the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Shortly after that, Mary Scott herself died, and Declan was devastated by the loss of his child and his wife.
"He really doesn't need a body in his garden," says Macalvie.
Joined by the intrepid Melrose Plant, now a gardener at Angel Gate, Jury and Macalvie rake over the present and the past in a pub near Launceston called the Winds of Change. With one of their most serpentine investigations under way, all signs point to the guilt of Viktor Baumann, Mary Scott's first husband and Flora's father. But when no one in this case is exactly who he seems, how can Jury be sure?
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