Her fears did not need darkness. They flourished in the bright sunlight, in the new house... -- "Get away," her grandmother's old friend told her. "Get away and stay away." But much as Linda hated Wessex, to leave it would end her marriage to Guy Nordeen, who for business reasons had to live in the little Connecticut town. -- She was six when her mother was found drowned in a woodland pool. Adopted by relatives, Linda had been brought up in Manhattan, but she had never lost her aversion for the very word Wessex. After her return there with Guy, she sensed the feeling of menace in the atmosphere. And Guy seemed to be affected by it, too. Their relationship became one of irritable exchanges and long silences. And amongst the group of local people who added to Linda's discomfort was a pretty nineteen-year-old girl who, Linda suspected, might be having an affair with Guy.
Determined to face the past, Linda visited the state hospital for the criminally insane to interview her mother's murderer.