In November 1974, a young woman called Sylvia Tredwin goes missing. Nobody has the faintest idea where she’s gone. She was wearing only a light skirt and T-shirt, didn’t take anything with her, no suitcase, nothing. Simply went out one dark evening and never returned.
Some say she went off with another man, because there’d already been talk in the small Somerset village of Petheram that she’s that type of woman – attractive, flirty with it, dressed too provocatively. But her husband, Bruce Tredwin, doesn’t believe a word of the callous whisperings of the locals as they gossip about his outsider wife. So he never gives up searching for her. A fortnight later on a stormy winter’s night he finds her. She’s naked in a place called Flinder’s Field, wandering aimlessly, badly bruised and in total shock. But what she says to him will astound everyone.
She says she’s been abducted by aliens, and she was never to be the same again, with tragic consequences…
Forty years later and George Lee is coming back to Petheram, the village of his birth. His estranged father has died and there are things his mother would like him to sort out. George hates the village, couldn’t wait to get out and make a life for himself as a writer of cheap and gory thrillers. He notices that Adam Tredwin, Sylvia Tredwin’s son, has also returned to Petheram. As children, the two used to be friends, briefly, before Adam’s father was killed in the 1980s by a hit-and-run driver and Sylvia took him away from the village.
But it’s when George begins to tidy out his father’s loft and slowly begins to learn more details about Sylvia Tredwin’s disappearance that he starts to uncover dark secrets and hidden truths – discoveries that will peel back the decades to reveal a labyrinthine world of madness, jealousies, deceit, lies and murder. He little knows his idle quest to find out the truth behind Sylvia Tredwin’s abduction will have profound and dangerous consequences for all concerned.