The daughter of a well-to-do family and recovering from a hopeless love affair, Louise Vaughan vanishes one night while returning home from a choir practice. Her car is discovered, together with her handbag, but no trace of Louise is found. Her family are forced to accept that she is dead. Twelve years later David Marsh, who worked on the original investigation, returns to the area as its Chief Superintendent. He'd never forgotten the case and decides to have a fresh look at the facts and the people involved. He learns that Louise's parents and their adopted son are still in the area - the former surviving in a blanket of grief, the latter wheeling and dealing while teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Her parents are physically supported by Norah, who'd come into their lives as an evacuee during the war and who has another, more binding tie to the family. And there is Louise's ex-lover, now a sleekly prosperous businessman. Marsh knows they all have secrets to reveal, but can he persuade the really guilty one to admit to murder?