It is 1993 and Thomas Penmarsh has lived in Finisterre, the house by the sea, all his life, sleeping each night in the room with the barred window. He's only 48 but has been an old man since one evening in 1967 when he lost everything he valued. However, now his controlling mother has died and he is master of the house. When Esmond, his cousin and childhood confidant, comes to live with him, Thomas is overjoyed - Esmond always looks after him. But is Esmond all that he seems?