When the body of a successful criminal barrister is found outside a chic Kensington hotel, it looks at first like a suicide. For colleagues and friends, her death comes as a huge shock - Marianne Shearer was at the pinnacle of her career, wealthy and stylish - but for the police the case is open-and-shut. There's something strange about the circumstances, though, something that prompts fellow lawyers Thomas Nobel and Peter Friel to dig deeper. Little by little, they discover that all is not as it seems. Oddly enough, Marianne herself appears to have left a series of small, almost imperceptible clues - clues that point to a far more sinister truth. Retracing Marianne's steps, Nobel and Friel uncover a carefully concealed darker side of her perfect life that leads them back to her last, gruesome case - when she knowingly sacrificed an innocent witness to let a criminal walk free.