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hane Thurgood, recently returned from Newcastle to his native village, is found dead of a single gunshot wound, a mile away from a burnt out van belonging to local poacher Linus Campion. Campion points the finger at gamekeeper Allen Barnes, father of his ex-wife Vanessa and of Clara Peyton, who is married to wealthy estate owner Will. Shane had come home to sell his late grandfather's farm to the Peytons but pulled out at the last minute, as he had fallen back in love with the countryside where he grew up and where Allen taught him to shoot. Shane had also written a successful novel, based on his relationship with the Barnes sisters when they were young and Vera looks to it for clues as to a murder motive, especially after Vanessa had visited him the day before his death to warn him to stop stalking Clara. However the death proves to be anything but calculated and concerned less with romance than with a long-standing rural tradition.

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