It’s the summer of 1976 and Vince Moody is a quiet and unassuming projectionist at the run-down Empire cinema in the small town of Langbridge in the middle of the Somerset Levels.
His life is a drudge, and he’s going nowhere; the only female attention he gets is a stream of cruel jokes and jibes from the Empire’s cleaners, and especially from the obnoxious Monica Andrews. But his life is about to change dramatically when he sees and falls secretly in love with Laura Leach.
Laura lives all alone in an 18th Century folly known as Devereux Towers; a brooding old building sitting alone in its field a few miles from Langbridge. Recently returned to the area to bury her father and having inherited Devereux Towers, Laura is something of a recluse. The local children call Laura the ‘Witch of Devereux Towers’; some people call her ‘damaged goods’. She too is lonely and unassuming, a desperately troubled woman haunted by her dark, secret past. Haunted by what lies behind the blue-painted door in Devereux Towers which Laura lets no one enter…
Then Laura Leach meets Casper Younge. He’s handsome, well-spoken, gentle and loving, and Laura falls head-over-heels in love with him. Vince Moody is devastated to have lost the woman of his dreams, but he soon discovers that Casper Younge is not all he first appears. He’s blackmailing the Empire’s manager, Martin Caldwell, for one thing; and who is the attractive woman Vince sees Casper meeting in Glastonbury? What plans are they hatching?
Martin Caldwell is having serious troubles of his own, aside from managing the failing Empire cinema – his affair with Monica Andrews the cleaner has gone horribly wrong. His world is falling apart, and the last thing he wants is a visit from Casper Younge dredging up a murky past he thought he’d left behind.
Then both Casper and Monica go missing; the longer they are gone, the more the thoughts turn to their possible deaths. But if they are dead, who is responsible for killing them?
Soon, everyone is caught up in a dangerous spiral of events that draws them inexorably into a world of jealousy, deceit, passion, blackmail and murder, where the hunter becomes the hunted, the mice turn on the cats.