Twenty-five years ago, the daughter of Scotland's richest man and her baby son were kidnapped and held to ransom. But Catriona Grant ended up dead and little Adam's fate is still unknown. When a new clue is discovered in a deserted Tuscan villa - along with grisly evidence of a recent murder - cold case expert DI Karen Pirie is assigned to follow the trail.
She's already working a case from the same year. During the Miners' Strike of 1984, pit worker Mick Prentice vanished. He was presumed to have broken ranks and fled south with other 'scabs'â€¦ but Karen finds that the reported events of that night don't add up. Where did he really go? And is there a link to the Grant mystery?
Val McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community then read English at Oxford. She was a journalist for sixteen years, spending the last three as Northern Bureau Chief of a national Sunday tabloid. She is now a full-time writer and lives in South Manchester.