A four-day tournament involving the world's leading golfers is being staged to mark the opening of a new country club created on the Marquis of Kinture's East Lothian estate. But on the previous Sunday afternoon, one of Kinture's business partners is found dead in his private jacuzzi in the clubhouse - with his throat cut. The next day an anonymous letter is received by the local newspaper, containing a fragment of a legendary witches' curse upon anyone who desecrates their place of worship. For Assistant Chief Constable Bob Skinner, the key to the murder is surely to be found in the here and now rather than in East Lothian's grisly past as a notorious centre for witchcraft. But then a second murder occurs, this time by water, and soon Skinner is facing the most challenging case of his career.
Quintin Jardine was a journalist before joining the Government Information Service where he spent nine years as an advisor to ministers and civil servants. In 1986 he became an independent public relations consultant.