It is March 1914, and Jim Stringer is uneasy about his next assignment. It's not so much the prospect of a Scarborough lodging house in the gloomy off-season that bothers him, or even the fact that the last railwayman to stay in the house has disappeared without a trace. It's more that his chief inspector seems to be deliberately holding back detatils of the case -- and that Jim has been sent to Scarborough with a trigger-happy assistant. The lodging house is called Paradise, but, as Jim discovers, it's hardly that in reality. It is, however, home to the seductive and beautiful Amanda Rickerby, a woman evidently capable of derailing Jim's marriage -- and a great deal more besides. As a storm brews in Scarborough, it becomes increasingly unlikely that Jim will ever ride the train back to York.