Nine months on from An Sgeir, and Fin MacLeod is back on Lewis. His divorce finalized, he has quit the police force and returned to his birthplace, intent on repairing past relationships and restoring his parents' derelict croft. Meanwhile, a perfectly preserved corpse has been recovered from one of the island's peat bogs. The male, Caucasian body, possessing two horrific stab wounds, is initially believed by its founders to be over two thousand years old. Until, that is, they find an Elvis tattoo on its right arm. The body, it transpires, is not evidence of an ancient ritual, but of a murder, committed during the latter half of the twentieth century. But such matters no longer concern Fin. Or so he thought. When DNA evidence flags a sibling match between the mystery corpse and Marsaili's father, Tormod - himself now firmly in the grip of dementia - a confused Marsaili seeks Fin's help. Her father, as far as she knows, was an only child.