When he fails to show up for their weekly hotel tryst, Naomi Jenkins is worried that something has happened to her married lover, Robert. After the police don't make his disappearance a priority, Naomi lies to them and says that Robert raped her three years ago, figuring that they will work harder to find him. Naomi's untruth leads DS Charlie Zailer and her partner DC Simon Waterhouse to try separate fact from fiction as they become involved with a group of liars and reluctant witnesses. Naomi was, in fact, raped a few years ago, but by whom? Is her case connected to incidents with other women that Charlie and Simon have discovered? And what about Robert? Hurting Distance is a read-alike for Nicci French with a little Minette Walters thrown in.