Twelve hours after a woman's broken body is washed up on a deserted shore on the south coast of England, her traumatized three-year-old daughter is discovered 20 miles away, alone and apparently abandoned. But why was Kate killed and her daughter allowed to live? More curiously, why had Kate willingly boarded a boat when she had a terror of drowning at sea? Suspicion centres on a young actor, a loner who lies about his relationship with the woman, and whose sailing boat, Crazy Daze, is moored just yards from where the toddler was found. As the investigation proceeds, attention shifts towards the murdered woman's husband. Was he really in Liverpool the night she died? Is he sure that Kate was the "respectable woman" he claims? And why does their daughter scream in terror every time he tries to pick her up?