The year is 1919 and the population of Great Britain is still struggling to its feet after being hit by the atrocities of the First World War. Progress is slow, even in quiet spots like the village of Broughton Underhill, on the edge of the Black Country. Gradually soldiers return, wounds begin to heal, and people try to move on with their lives. Former police sergeant Herbert Reardon has returned to the village, determined to solve an old murder--a woman was found drowned in the lake when the war was just beginning.
However, as Reardon begins to investigate, it becomes clear that secrets still abound and lips are staying sealed. When Edith Huckaby, a maid from Oaklands Park, is found murdered in exactly the same spot, Reardon is convinced that the two cases are linked. As he endeavors to discover the hidden truth, his suspects and witnesses are painstakingly trying to rebuild their lives, in a world that has been changed and scarred forever.
Broken Music is a masterful portrait of the horrors of the front line and the anxiety of the home front, as the loves and losses of wartime Britain are woven together and the truth slowly dawns on a local tragedy.