Wetherton's domestic bliss is rocked when housewife, Susan Goodman, is murdered while doing her weekly shopping. Lethal chemical, teltroxin, is the cause of death and Susan's demise is soon followed by that of Angela Veitch. As the two victims lives are put under the spotlight, a link between them and a health retreat called Arcadia is discovered. Dalziel and Pascoe head off to Arcadia, finding the slippery Brian Fairmile ruling the roost. When another guest at the retreat is killed, Dalziel and Pascoe discover more connections between the victims, large sums of money, and a mysterious Barbara Lennox. Could the person who sourced the lethal chemical be responsible for the deaths? Who exactly is Barbara? And when two people vanish, where have they gone and are they running in fear for their lives?