One year before the action of the novel takes place, Lucas Gaffe tried to kill his brother, Clement. He would have suceeded if not for the intervention of a mysterious stranger. After the failed murder, Lucas dissappeared and Clement never told anyone what had occured between them. Time passes and eventually Lucas return, with murder no longer on his mind. But the stranger who saved Clement's life is also aware of Lucas' return and uses it as an opportunity for blackmail. His name is Peter Mir, and he insinuates himself into the lives of the Cliftonians, a mother and three daughters who are close friends of the Gaffe's, as well as several of their other friends. As the group expands to include Mir, his presence, and the information he reveals, alters all of their lives forever.
This synopsis report prepared by fran laniado