At 38 Alicia Parnell remained as vivacious and exciting as she had been at 17. Until someone strangled her. Her corpse lay sprawled across the elegant four-poster bed at the Black Swan Hotel in Sturrenden, the Kentish town she had left 20 years before. It was her first time back ...and her last. When Inspector Thanet arrived at the scene, he recognized the victim as the popular girl from his school days that so many had idolized...and that a jilted boyfriend had killed himself for. Why had she returned? Whom had she seen? Thanet knew she had attended a concert by another old school chum, but the only clues he had to her murder were a missing red folder, a telephone call...and a trail of hate, passion, and long-kept secrets that led across the years straight to Sturrenden and death.