A brutal murder in the small town of Nanford leads to the exposure of its sordid history.When a ‘saint’ is murdered in a small town in 1937 the local Watch Committee asks the county police to investigate. County assigns the case to Detective Inspector Turner, a man approaching the end of a mediocre career. He is assisted by a relatively inexperienced detective constable. By a combination of fluke and fortitude the pair ‘get their man’, and on the way discover that Clarissa was less than saintly. Far from being universally admired, a number of her fellow citizens had cause to wish her dead.Her estranged husband and his mistress can only gain by the death, and Harry Lord, the bitter ‘class warrior’ who discovered the body, is found to have a surprising relationship with the dead woman. These people are obvious suspects, but when Turner discovers the truth about Clarissa’s father, he is forced to consider others, some of whom were her close ‘friends and admirers’.The story follows the twists and turns in the investigation as the inspector, filled with self doubt, finds the courage to confront some members of the town’s elite with their secret past.