When a young woman's naked body is discovered deep in the snowy undergrowth of Holland Park, ritualistically bound and gagged, the only clue is a verse from a bizarre poem found stuffed in her mouth. The woman is Rachel Tenison, a wealthy West End art dealer, who outwardly seemed to lead a normal, fulfilled life. However, as DI Mark Tartaglia and DS Sam Donovan scratch away at the surface, a darker, secret side begins to emerge. Then a tip-off spins everything in an entirely new direction, suggesting that the case is linked to the murder a year before in North London of Catherine Watson, a university lecturer. Still haunted by the aftermath of 'The Bridegroom' case three months before, which nearly brought about their own deaths, Tartaglia and Donovan are forced to confront their personal demons as they struggle to find what these two very different women had in common before the killer has a chance to strike again.