DCI Stanhope delves into the tangled past of extreme sports fanatic, Gideon Frane, when he plunges from a Northumberland cliff top in a ball of flames. An anonymous letter spelling ‘Burn in Hell' and a scan of files reveal a litany of stalking complaints and intimidation against an ex-girlfriend, Izzy Rawlins. As a former head boy, Headmistress Vivienne Ripman remembers Gideon as leader of a gang of ‘golden lads and girls'. But ex-girlfriend Manda Adelaide went missing after an attempted suicide and best friend Jamie Levinson has long since succumbed to drug addiction. Supported by DC Shepherd and the newly appointed DC Edwards, Vera and the team must track down Gideon's gang to uncover a lifetime of bullying and an unexpected story of tested loyalties and rough justice.