Superintendent Mike Yeadings and his team of officers from the Thames River Valley Police Force are called in to investigate a savage murder.
When a woman's body is found along the river - strangled, her body mutilated, her blond hair hacked from her scalp - the sleepy village of Markham finds itself rudely awakened.
The murdered woman had no apparent ties to the village. But when a student barely escapes from a similar attack, the village must confront the frightening reality that a murderer has come to inhabit their quaint village home. Mike Yeadings and his Thames Valley team come to fear they are faced with a possible serial killer -- one with a penchant for blondes.
As the team races to track down the unknown woman's murderer before he strikes again, the village finds itself stirred to crimes of its own -- spiteful mischief, flaunted adultery, and the puzzling death of a respected country doctor.
The unsettled reaction of the village is echoed within Yeadings's team, where the detectives fume over the return of their own unwelcome outsider, D. I. Jenner.