Sacked by his college, Peter Glasson retires in disgrace from the world of archaeology and tries to lose himself in the anonymity of the Fens, the only person to stand by him being Jenny McArthur, who he met during the excavation of the Nine Quines site in Scotland,
Working in his friendís market garden, living in a rented cottage, and even acquiring a cat from a locals anctuary, Glassonís attempts to live incognito, grieve for the death of his daughter, and build a new life are thrown into disarray when he comes to the attention of a sinister local fringe political group, run by a wealthy local architect, John Leman. Leman wants Glasson to lend his archaeological authority and help him find the mysterious lost treasure, the plate of the Abbey of Summergang Crucis, which went missing in Tudor times, when it was hidden by the last Abbot, Simon Thorketil, at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries but was, tantalisingly, later catalogued by an 18th century local historian. So much so, that he refuses to take "noĒ for an answer.
Glassonís attempts to refuse, and to live out aquiet life instead, and a subsequent well-intentioned but disastrous intervention by Jenny, bring down a train of events on them both which ends up by putting not only the pair of them in peril, but almost everyone and everything else they care about.
Thus begins a deadly game of hide-and-seek which ends with a series of revelations that will mean that for them, life will never be the same again.