Donna Morris has chosen to do her probationary year as detective constable in the small seaside town of Scarborough. But on her first day, a body is found in the woods: the corpse of Henrik Grünttor presents itself as that of a homeless man, dead from his own drug use. However, until recently, Grünttor had been working at the local GCHQ centre on the Russian section and the postmortem reveals the cause of his death to be uncertain.
Now in her early fifties, Donna has her own reasons for wanting to be in Scarborough, ones she would prefer to keep from her colleagues. For she's not been drawn there by the landscape or the light, or even the beach, but to be closer to her wayward daughter - a daughter serving time in the nearby prison for GBH. Yet beyond even this, Donna hides another secret: she grew up in East Berlin, escaping across the wall in the early 1980s.
Due to the circumstances of her past Donna is drawn to the dead man whose background is not dissimilar to hers... and her persistence reveals there are several people who wanted Grünttor dead -- and gathered around him in his final days like a wake of crows...
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