Retired Andrew Basnett returns to Knotlington, where he once worked as an assistant lecturer, to an old friend who needs some advice. Two years earlier a member of the Fine Arts Department was murdered. Yet the killer had been caught and sentenced, so why should Andrew's friend need help? Many believed Stephen Sharland, who is serving a life sentence for the murder, was innocent. But before Andrew even begins making enquiries, there is another murder, and Andrew finds him in a complex web of emotion, struggling to sift truth from lies.