Blackpool, 1938. Miss Margaret Finch - a rather demure young woman - has just begun work in a position that relies on her discretion and powers of observation. Then, her path is crossed by the disgraced Rector of Stiffkey (aka Harold Davidson), who is the subject of a national scandal.
Margaret is determined to discover the truth behind the headlines: is Davidson a maligned hero or an exploiter of the vulnerable? But her own troubles are never far away, and Margaret's fear that history is about to repeat itself means she needs to uncover that truth urgently.
This deeply evocative novel ripples with the tension of a country not yet able to countenance the devastation of another war. Margaret walks us along the promenade, peeks into the baths and even dares a trip on the love boat in this, her first seaside summer season, on a path more dangerous than she could ever have imagined.