One secret can bury an entire family forever... Desmond is a man ill equipped for today's world. He is reclusive and unsocial, traits exacerbated by his domineering mother. As a result, Desmond is at his happiest when he's absolutely alone. During a birdwatching outing along the Devon coast, Desmond wanders into a cave. Inside, he finds something that appalls and terrifies him: a skeleton dressed in a nun's wimple.
With this one twist of fate, Desmond becomes the focus of the wealthy Pilkington family - the clan who lives near the cave, with connections and devious secrets to spare. Under legal and familial pressure, the members of the Pilkington family start to crack, and their lies and deceits pile up. Who is the skeleton, and why has its existence been kept a secret for so long? The truth brings Gillian White's riveting tale to a startling conclusion.