When an explosion rips across Hunstanton Beach on the north Norfolk coast, an abandoned Second World War bomb is assumed to be the cause, but could there be a connection with the new pier being built and the increasingly bitter campaign to halt its construction? At the same time, DI Shaw and DS Valentine are on the hunt for an elderly female killer with a uniquely macabre method of despatch. And a 63-year-old Dutch engineer is missing, presumed drowned, but where is the body? All seemingly unrelated investigations but in each case nothing is as it seems. To find the answers, Shaw must delve into the past, and a mystery that has remained unsolved for more than sixty years.