When Mark is invited back to Leila's flat, he thinks he's about to have the experience of his life. Later, when he wakes, he finds her gone from his side. Keen to leave, he opens the wrong door and finds he's entered a nightmare; behind the Barbie dolls that sway from the ceiling hangs Leila's body.
Rhona Macleod's forensic investigation of the scene reveals the silk cord used to hang Leila to be a cingulum, a Wiccan artefact used in sex magick. Sketches hidden in the dolls provide a link to nine powerful men, but who are they? As the investigation continues, it looks likely that other witches will be targeted too.
Working the investigation is the newly demoted DS Michael McNab, who is keen to stay sober and redeem himself with Rhona, but an encounter with Leila's colleague and fellow Wiccan Freya Devine threatens his resolve. Soon McNab realizes Freya may hold the key to identifying the men linked to the dolls, but the Nine will do anything to keep their identities a secret.
'Lin Anderson is one of Scotland's national treasures'