T

he conservative editor of a major newspaper, Dennis Luxford, receives a ransom demand: publish the details of his first-born child or else. Some years earlier, he had a weekend tryst with a left-wing politician, Eve Bowen, now a government Minister and by mutual agreement his paternity has never been publicly acknowledged. In a strange twist the girl is killed before Luxford has a chance to publish the story. Inspector Lynley and Sergeant Havers are in charge of the investigation but are also soon dealing with another kidnapping when Luxford's young son Leo is taken and he again received the same ransom demand. The solution lies in uncovering events from long ago. Meanwhile, Lynley and Helen Clyde's relationship becomes even more complicated due to her friendship with Luxford and her attempt to assist him.

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