Somewhere in the wilderness of Iceland's frozen East Fjords, Erlendur is on the hunt. For a long lost brother, for a woman who vanished decades ago, for answers. He has come to confront the family tragedy that has haunted him all his life. But it is another missing-person story - the disappearance of Matthildur, lost in a snow-storm decades before but not yet forgotten - which reels him in. Slowly, the past begins to give up its secrets - of infidelities, betrayal, revenge and murder. There are blizzards, bitter cold, people at the limit of endurance. It is a journey that will have Erlendur wrestle all his personal demons but also find him at midnight, in an open grave, face to face with the evidence of long-buried crimes.