It is 1919 and Great Britain is still struggling to its feet after the First World War. Progress is slow, even in quiet spots like the village of Broughton Underhill. But moving on is impossible when former police sergeant Herbert Reardon returns to the village, determined to finally find out what happened the night that his daughter was found drowned. However, as Reardon begins to investigate, it becomes clear that secrets still abound.
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February, 1927: The remains of a man are found in the grounds of Maxtead Court, home of the wealthy Scroope family. Meanwhile, Margaret Rees-Talbot is preparing for her wedding to the Rev Symon Scroope - to the disapproval of some residents of Folbury, who think it's too soon after the death of her father, Osbert, found drowned in his bath a few months previously. Before he died, Osbert had been writing an account of his experiences as a soldier during the Second Boer War. But what really happened in South Africa back in 1902?
November 1928. Family and friends have gathered at the Shropshire country home of Penrose Llewellyn to celebrate the retired wealthy businessman's 60th birthday. But the morning after what should have been a convivial supper party, their host is found dead in his bed - and the circumstances look decidedly suspicious.