When Silas Venning, boss of luxury yacht building company, Venning Marine, is found hanged in a remote wood, it shocks the whole of Cornwall.
Gossip about how he met his demise is rife amongst the county's smart set.
It looks like suicide, but his widow, celebrated artist Laura Anstey, tells Loveday he would never take his own life, and she pleads for her help.
But Loveday has troubles of her own. News that a former employee of Silas’s has been mown down by a hit and run driver as he is released from Exeter Prison paralyses her with fear.
She knows her partner, Detective Inspector Sam Kitto, had gone to the jail that morning to settle a score with the dead man. What she doesn’t know is…was it Sam who killed him?