A woman's body, burned beyond all recognition, is discovered lying in a cornfield on an idyllic summer's day.
Two days into the case, Hampshire Constabulary know their victim has been strangled, her body carried in a suitcase to a field near a tiny Hampshire village, and then set alight; but not who she or who her killer is.
House-to-house inquiries unearth a witness who's seen a battered Vauxhall being driven slowly around the crime scene, the day before the killing. The offender profilers advise that whoever chose that lonely spot had done so because he knew the area, and a database search of car registrations throws up four names, one of them with a Hampshire bank account.
The chase is on, and as the case unfolds it presents an extraordinary snapshot of Britain in the 21st century - the passions and divisions hidden beneath the placid surface of middle England - and a unique insight into the fragility of modern policing.
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