Matt Winsford has taken Coombe Cottage on the edge of Dartmoor in order to help his recovery from serious injuries, the circumstances of which he is anxious not to disclose. An amateur artist, he hopes to spend a quiet time painting. An accidental meeting with young horse rider Kate Lethbridge and a subsequent offer to paint her horse brings him in contact with the nearby stables and Lidstone Manor, a secure training centre for young offenders.
A break-in at the cottage, the trashing of his belongings and the injury of his dog Bullet causes Matt to question the activities at the manor and adjoining stables. He senses he is being watched.
Riding out on the moor, he finds a young Lidstone inmate, ‘Jacko’ Williams, suffering from hypothermia. With the help of Kate, Matt revives the youngster and they learn the reasons why Jacko is desperate to escape from the centre. But can Matt and Kate help the youngsters at the centre?
A liaison with horse-tack saleswoman Serena Brent ends in disappointment and subsequent events reveal that all is not what it seems regarding her interest in him.
But when an incident out trail-hunting causes Matt’s past to be revealed, will this affect the new life he is making for himself in the village?
Kenneth (Ken) Ansell is an agriculturalist and farmer turned professional artist, who graduated from Durham University and completed his two years of National Service as a second lieutenant in a transport company before starting his working career in Agricultural Education in Cornwall, and, eventually, Devon. A keen horseman, he has experience in breeding and schooling young horses together with point-to-point racing and hunting. He has a small farm on the edge of Dartmoor where he lives with his wife and family. Now in his eighties, Ken rides regularly and still does his share in the stable yard.