Having worked for an international charity in her days before retiring to Cornwall, Eleanor Trewynn is asked by the Commonwealth Relations Office to assist in secret negotiations about to take place in a hotel just outside Tintagel.
Meanwhile her niece DS Megan Pencarrow, as well as investigating the disappearance of Port Mabyn solicitor Alan Freeth, is sent to help provide security for the conference. So is her bete noire, DS Ken Faraday of the Yard. They have to escort to Tintagel two African students, refugees from Ian Smith's Southern Rhodesia.
Everyone arrives at the hotel in a raging storm, as do two sinister Londoners who have followed Megan from Launceston. Who are they and why have they turned up in the depths of rural Cornwall? Are they spying for Smith? And what is their connection with the missing solicitor? The answers set the scene for murder, and take Eleanor and Megan on a chase across fog-bound Bodmin Moor in a desperate attempt to prevent further deaths.