Four Londoners are visiting Unst for a hamefarin’, a party for a newly married couple. Late the night of the party, Eleanor disappears. She had recently been depressed after a stillbirth, but her friends report she has seemed much better recently.
After Jimmy Perez and his team arrive, Eleanor’s body is found stretched out next to a small lake. She seems to be in an unnatural position, and the team thinks she was struck in the head.
Eleanor was making a film about rational people who claim to have had a supernatural experience. The area where they are staying is supposed to be haunted by a young drowned girl named Peerie Lizzy. Eleanor claims to have seen a girl on the beach in an old-fashioned white dress. Later, Polly sees her, too.
Of course, the main suspects are the friends and Eleanor’s husband, Ian. Eleanor and Ian seem somewhat of a mismatch, and Ian had Eleanor committed during her depression over the stillbirth.
Polly is a dreamy, shy librarian. She and her outgoing, assured boyfriend, Marcus, seem to be an unusual couple. The groom, Lowry, dated Eleanor in college and was said to be devastated when she broke up with him. Caroline, his new wife, seems much more concerned with the couple’s plans to move to Unst than by Eleanor’s death.
This is another complex, clever mystery by Cleeves. I had no clue of the solution, although I did guess a major plot point. A small caveat, though. The motive for the murder, once it was revealed, seemed far-fetched.