Reginald Hill's ironic humor, polished prose, and keen insight have placed him squarely alongside such great mystery writers as P. D. James and Ruth Rendell. In his latest novel his much-appreciated team of detectives, the incomparable Dalziel and Pascoe, find themselves in the pretty village of Enscombe, which is steadfastly trying though somewhat in vain to repel the advances of both tourists and developers. When a policeman is discovered missing, Pascoe is immediately worried, but Dalziel thinks he's overreacting... until the normally phlegmatic Sergeant Wield also shows signs of changing his first impressions of picture-perfect village life. Over two eventful days a new pattern emerges: one of lust and lying, family feuds and ancient injuries, frustrated desires and unbalanced minds. Finally, inevitably, everything comes to a bloody climax at the Squire's Reckoning, where the villagers gather each Lady Day to feast and pay old debts. Not even the three lawmen's presence can change the course of history... though one of them is to find the course of his own personal history changed forever.