Nina Landry is supposed to be taking her two children on a Christmas holiday today. But the road away from Sandling Island seems littered with obstacles. Most pressing of all, her fifteen-year-old daughter, Charlie, has yet to return from a night out . . . Minute by minute, Nina's unease builds to worry and then panic. Has Charlie run away? Or has something more sinister happened to her? And why will nobody take her disappearance seriously? As a series of half-buried secrets leads Nina from sickening suspicion to deadly certainty, the question becomes less whether she and her daughter will leave the island for Christmas - and more whether they'll ever leave it again.