A mass grave is uncovered in a devastated Croatian village, and the mutilated body of a young Englishwoman, Dorrie Mowat, is exhumed.
Her mother, who detested Dorrie when she was alive, is determined to find out how her daughter died. But with civil war tearing apart the former Yugoslavia, none of the authorities are interested in what they view as a minor war crime. She employs private investigator, Bill Penn, a former MI 5 officer, who anticipated a short trip to Zagreb where he will compile a meaningless report and receive a good fee at the end of it. But once he has seen the killing ground, Penn becomes determined to find the truth behind the young woman's death.