An isolated Scottish mansion is the venue for a reading of a controversial new play by a West End theatre company. But on the very first evening, the playwright is savagely murdered, and Inspector Thomas Lynley faces the most testing case of his career. For one of the suspects is Lady Helen Clyde, the woman Lynley loves. And as he attempts to untangle the family scandals, fierce theatrical rivalries and long-buried secrets that beset the case, Lynley struggles to balance the clinical detachment of his job with the intensity of his feelings.
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