David Zinc has everything you could dream of: He is one of the partners in one of the major law companies, has a good income and a lovely wife. Only the stress at his work and the unfulfilled wish for a child put minor shadows on his life. When, all of a sudden, David makes a spontaneous decision. When he enters the office-building, he turns around, goes to the next bar and drinks as much as he could. The address, David tells the Taxi driver is not his home-address, but the address on the advertisement of a law-office. On the next morning, after he slept away his intoxication, he gets a job out of mercy and a few days later, he is about to perform his greatest case: Against the lawyers of his former employer, he is supposed to prove that a medication has deadly side effects.
Erlendur travels to the area responsible for his greatest trauma, because he lost his brother there. Since Erlendur held the hand of his brother when he disappeared, the events are still very present. The house of Erlendurs parents of which he does not even know to whom it belongs shall become the starting point of his expedition. During his search, Erlendur encounters a fox-hunter, who participated in the search for Erlendur’s brother many years ago. He could not bring any new information to the case of Erlendur’s brother, but tells him that another woman vanished many years ago and her trace gets completely lost, too.
The Chief of Police himself asks Lynley to perform a secret investigation. The nephew of a rich industrial had died in what appeared to be an accident. During the investigation, Lynley and colleagues find silence and defence rather than the willingness to help. What makes the case even more complicated: It appears that almost every single family member had a good and sound reason to kill the victim.