Master of the Hunt, the fifteenth Earl of Candlesby, has come to lead his riders once again. But this time he comes as a corpse, wrapped in blankets across his horse, a corner of his scarlet coat visible in the morning mist. Only three people see the body. One dies. Another vanishes. Now only one man knows how he was killed. Powerscourt is summoned to investigate murder in a crumbling house where the paper is peeling off the walls and the stuffed owls each only have one leg. The estate is virtually bankrupt as Powerscourt uncovers a world of jealousy, revenge and hatred, where the sons are as dissolute and dangerous as the father. The fifteenth earl had left a trail of duels, theft and adultery across the flatlands of Lincolnshire. It takes another death and a deadly chase under the crumbling estate before Powerscourt unlocks the secret of death in a scarlet coat.