Not a friend, not a friend greet / My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown.' As she wrote she imagined a stand of Scots pine, their shade cool on even the hottest day, and her bones glowing white in green twilight. She smiled. Seventeen-year-old Isabelle Mattias, the privileged daughter of an artist and a dead rock star, is an unusual teenage girl. When she disappears from college in the middle of a freezing December night, Superintendent Andrew Fenwick arrives to investigate. As unsettling hints of an abusive past surface, Fenwick grows ever more concerned for Isabelle's safety. Is it too much to hope that the girl is still alive? With the investigation faltering, Fenwick follows an increasingly cold trail across the Sussex countryside, always just too late to find the girl. Meanwhile, Inspector Louise Nightingale is preoccupied with her own investigation into the identity of a serial rapist. Could their inquiries in fact be linked, forcing the pair to work together once again? As the country is gripped by a treacherous and icy winter, they must combine all their skills and energy to find Isabelle before her time runs out . . .