How can Kathy uncover the truth about her sister’s death when all she has to go on is a holiday journal and there is someone who will stop at nothing to preventing her investigating?
When her dead sister’s things are returned home, Kathy finds Leanne’s holiday journal. Reading through the details of Leanne’s adventures in the Galapagos, it becomes clear that all is not well within the small party. The suspicious behaviour of some passengers and crew, plus an odd reference to a man looking like a drug baron, feed Kathy’s conviction Leanne’s death was no accident. Could Leanne have uncovered a smuggling racket? Kathy’s obsession with finding the real cause of Leanne’s death causes concern and threatens to alienate her from best friend Alison who is also worried by Kathy’s continued antagonism towards Leanne’s ex-husband Gareth.
Deciphering Leanne’s scrawl in the damaged journal is a lengthy task but it confirms Leanne had met the man of her dreams, Brett. It also mentions Rowena Delarue, a novelist who Kathy tracks down through her website. According to Rowena, Leanne had an argument with Brett the day before she died. How serious was it? Could he be the killer? Rowena gives Kathy the email addresses of other members of the holiday party but she does not have Brett’s.
Rowena emails to say she has found discrepancies in what she has seen on the holiday videos and what someone claimed at the time. Before making any accusations she needs to speak to the person concerned. A few days later Rowena is killed; supposedly by a burglar. Kathy is convinced she was murdered by whoever killed Leanne. This rules out Brett as Rowena had no way of contacting him. Various members of the party come under suspicion including Gina who turns out not to be the dispsy dumbo everyone had assumed and the quiet, enigmatic Phil, whose advice to forget about her sister’s death Kathy takes as a veiled threat.
Kathy at last manages to make contact with Brett and they become friends.
When a fire, which almost destroys her home, fails to stop Kathy’s investigation she is almost driven off the road. These incidents only serve to convince her is getting closer to the truth. Everything suggests Leanne was killed to protect a lucrative wildlife smuggling operation.
When Gareth offers to help clear up after the fire, the cause of Kathy’s antagonism is revealed. In a drunken state, she’d made a pass at Gareth the previous Christmas and had been so embarrassed by her behaviour she’d avoided him ever since.
Kathy phones Brett and confides her deepening suspicions of Phil. He suggests they meet at the construction site where he works. As she waits for him in the office portacabin, flames begin to lick the outside of building and she is trapped. She manages to smash through a window but Phil grabs her and pulls her away before the gas canisters explode.
Brett is arrested fleeing the scene. Phil is revealed as an undercover agent investigating trafficking exotic species. Leanne and Rowena must have worked out what was going on and, concerned Kathy was about to identify him, Brett attempted to remove Kathy as well.