Adam Dalgliesh is Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard and when he gets an urgent call from his Commissioner, he knows there is a death somewhere! In fact, this death is at a private island off the Cornish coast where important people come to 'de-stress'.
The dead body is that of Nathan Oliver, a famous author who regularly visits the island with his daughter, Miranda, and his copy editor, Dennis Tremlett. Oliver was found hanging from a beam on the lighthouse.
Dalgliesh summons two of his subordinates, Kate Miskin and Benton Smith and in a few hours their helicopter lands on Combe Island.
Then proceeds the questioning of all the people on the island - 2 other visitors and 8 staff. All would seem to have a motive to want Oliver dead. Although a brilliant writer, he was not a likeable man.
He ruled his daughter and his copy editor with a tight hand. He demanded that the eldest person on the island, Emily Holcombe, let him have her cottage because it was more suited to a writer. He got Boyde, a recovering alcoholic, drunk one day just so he could write about it.
Then another murder occurs - Boyde is found dead near the chapel. And then SARS, a serious respiratory disease hits the island, and Dalgliesh gets infected. He can't continue the investigation,and what's more, back home the love of his life will be wondering what's going on.And does she really love him?
Meanwhile, Kate and Benton continue the search for the murderer. It involves a dangerous climb by Benton and a tight squeeze through a lighthouse window by Kate but the mystery gets solved!
This report prepared by Tena van't Foort