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The officer on duty at Bamford police station is skeptical when he takes a call from Guy Morgan. Morgan claims to have stumbled upon human bones in Stovey Woods in the heart of the Cotswalds, but surely animal bones are more likely? Morgan, though, is a doctor as well as a hiker, and he knows exactly what he's found.

It sends a shiver down Detective Alan Markby's spine when he hears the news. Twenty-two years ago, as a fresh-faced young inspector, he had a rare failure: His hunt for a brutal serial rapist preying on local women in the Stovey woods came up empty. After the third rape, the attacker disappeared, never to be heard of again.

Now, with a new investigation prompted by Morgan's grisly discovery, the trail could be warm once more. But almost at once Markby is confronted with another body and a thoroughly up-to-date murder. Markby's lover, Meredith Mitchell, can't help but wonder: Could the two be connected? But as both are about to find out, it seems that some of the village residents would be just as happy to let sleeping dogs lie and secrets-both old and new-stay hidden...

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