It had already been a spring laden with mortality. News reports were full of terrorist bombings, earthquakes and floods, and a whole herd of prime beef animals had been wasted on the altar of BSE-phobia. So it was with a strange momentary lack of surprise that Lilah found her father, early that morning, half-submerged face down in the slurry pit, When irascible farmer Guy Beardon meets a very dirty death in his own farmyard, at first it seems like an accident - despite the fact that he was widely disliked. Only his daughter Lilah is prepared to defend his memory. And when, slowly, Lilah begins to suspect foul play, no one is eager to help her investigate. Suspicion becomes certainty when two more deaths occur - and both of them are unmistakably murder.