Rebus has never shied away from lost causes, one of the many ways he managed to antagonize his bosses when he was on the force. Now he's back as a retired civilian, reviewing abandoned files. Necessary work, but it's not exactly scratching the itch he feels to be in the heart of the action. He's investigating the disappearances of three women from the same road over ten years. Unlike his skeptical colleagues, Rebus can sense a connection. But pursuing it leads him into the crosshairs of adversaries both old and new.