On a sultry August evening, the bloody body of a middle-aged woman is discovered beneath a hedge by a small boy.
There are only two things that surprise Wexford about the murder scene. One, that the only contents of the woman's handbag are some keys and a wallet containing nothing but some money. And two, how even in death, her deathly grey eyes possess a scornful glare.
The woman turns out to be Rhoda Comfrey, but there's no murder weapon, no apparent motive, and no one who actually cares she's died. Wexford's only hunch is that the clues to her murder must lie in her solitary London life. But her existence there becomes frustratingly impossible to trace.