‘The question that haunts us all. Just what is it that drives someone to kill?’
In Ravenbank, a remote community in the Lake District, Hallowe'en is particularly chilling. It is a time for telling the story of the Faceless Woman, a young housemaid brutally murdered in a nearby lane, her corpse discovered with a makeshift shroud frozen to her battered face. And five years ago, the tale became even more unsettling when another woman was murdered in exactly the same grisly manner.
Daniel Kind, a specialist in the history of murder, becomes fascinated by the old cases, and begins to wonder whether the obvious suspects really did commit the crimes. While Daniel attends a Hallowe'en party in Ravenbank, death returns for a third time to the beautiful but eerily isolated spot. Once more, the victim is a woman – and once more her damaged face is shrouded from view.
The latest horrifying murder presents DCI Hannah Scarlett, head of the Cold Case Review Team, with the toughest challenge of her career. Is the case linked to the two earlier killings - and if so, how? Hannah and Daniel join forces in an attempt to solve the puzzling mystery. But in doing so, both may be forced to confront ghosts from their own pasts . . .