The disappearance of two French girls in a Staffordshire beauty spot signals a tough new case for Detective Joanna Piercy. Cécile Bellange is a worried mother. Her eighteen-year-old daughter Annabelle and her friend Dorothée left Paris for a summer hitchhiking holiday in England, but it's now September and the only contact from them is a postcard sent from the picturesque setting of Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire three months ago. Meanwhile, in England, brothers Martin and James Stuart find a note from two French girls, inviting the finder to meet them at Rudyard Lake. Their enquiries lead them to Mandalay, an upmarket guesthouse where the girls stayed just before their disappearance, and its owner, the creepy peeping tom, Mr Barker. Arriving in England, Cécile Bellange meets Detective Joanna Piercy, who is looking into the girls' disappearance. Soon Joanna must answer two important questions: what is the anxious Mr Barker trying so desperately to hide, and where are Annabelle and Dorothée?