It is autumn in the little Somerset town of Glastonbury. Lance Bradley is just beginning to feel that he is idling away his life there as usual when he receives a call for help from the eccentric sister of his old friend Rupert Alder. Inexplicably, Rupe has stopped sending the money that his dysfunctional siblings depend on. Reluctantly, Lance goes to London to learn what he can, only to find that his friend has vanished. Rupe's employers, the Eurybia Shipping Company, want him tried for fraud. A Japanese businessman called Hashimoto claims he has stolen a document of huge importance. And a private detective is demanding money for trying to trace on Rupe's behalf an American called Townley, who was involved in a mysterious death at Wilderness Farm, near Glastonbury, back in 1963, that year of so many momentous events which just happens also to be the year of Lance's birth. No sooner has Lance decided that whatever Rupe was up to is too risky for him to get involved in than he finds that he already is involved, and the only way out is to get in deeper still. Where is Rupe? What is the document he has stolen? Who is Townley? And what happened at Wilderness Farm in the summer of 1963 that holds the key to a secret more amazing than Lance Bradley could ever have imagined?
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