St. Andrews, Scotland: When an elderly woman’s naked body is found in her home, crucified to the floor, DCI Andy Gilchrist and his associate, DS Jessie Janes, find themselves in a hunt for a brutal serial killer. As the body count rises, suspicion falls on Tap ‘Dancer’ McCrear, a career criminal recently released from prison after serving fifteen years for a murder he swore he never committed.
But none of the victims appear to have struggled, even though they were nailed to the floor and died from drowning in their own blood. As Gilchrist begins to uncover the terrifying truth behind each of the killings, his worst fears are realised when he learns that McCrear is killing everyone involved in his murder trial, for it was Gilchrist who arrested McCrear all those years ago.
Why do the victims succumb to death without a struggle? And who is the mysterious person known simply as Deeps?
High-flying Detective Superintendent Rommie Frazier, who leads the multi-constabulary task force searching for McCrear, butts heads with Gilchrist, and demands his removal from the investigation. But Gilchrist won’t leave without a fight, for he knows it is up to him to find Tap McCrear before his own name is struck off the murder list.