"We are living in the departure lounge," said Ralph Greenwood, "and flights leave with monotonous regularity." So when another resident of the Rosemary House care home is found dead in her chair one Saturday evening in December, no one is very surprised-not until the results of a routine post-mortem reveal something extraordinary. Sergeant DC Smith and his team have to tread carefully as they investigate what took place, and Smith himself has to confront some difficult memories. Others, meanwhile, seem intent on getting him to leave the force altogether, while, despite his best efforts, his social life also becomes a little more complicated. To top it all, Kings Lake has been waiting weeks for the snow to fall, in a winter that seems as if it will never end . . .