School girl Hattie Sutton disappears on her way to join her village's May Day celebration as its queen. Her uncle Steve Docker,who organized the event,gets together a search party of locals and they end up in the Magic Circle, an area of woodlands popular for teen-aged meeting places. Here they find Hattie's crown and Steve is immediately suspicious of his brother Seth,whom he saw entering the woods that day. At the same time ex-policewoman Fiona Hill finds blood on her husband Alan's shirt though he gives an explanation for it. Unhappily married Gail Spicer disbelieves her husband Matthew,a property developer planning a new housing estate opposed by Hattie and her family,when he says he spends long hours in the woods walking their dog. Young Linus Newcombe,who fancies Hattie's sister Caitlin,finds his widowed,sarcastic father Everett bundling up a long parcel but when he asks what is in it Everett attacks him.
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