In the supposedly-safe London commuter belt of Surrey, an assassin is at work. Promising young architect Peter Young is shot dead at his desk during the Friday morning rush hour. DCI Craig Gillard is quickly on the scene, but even as runnels of blood creep across the tracing paper, the detective knows that the most crucial question in solving the crime will be one word: Why?
Two weeks later, and 250 miles north on the Lincolnshire coast another body is found on a windswept beach. In this case there is no identity for the young man, just a curious brand burned into his neck. Linking these crimes and this insignia takes all his ingenuity, and leads Gillard abroad to a land where the normal limits of criminality do not apply, and blood and honour are the only laws.