Deep in the Cambridgeshire fens, Laura is living alone with her 12-year old daughter Beth, in the old tollhouse known as Ninepins.
She's in the habit of renting out the pumphouse, once a fen drainage station, to students, but this year she's been persuaded to take in 17-year-old Willow, a care-leaver with a dubious past, on the recommendation of her social worker, Vince.
Is Willow dangerous or just vulnerable? It's possible she was once guilty of arson; her mother's hippy life is gradually revealed as something more sinister; and Beth is in trouble at school and out of it.
Laura's carefully ordered world seems to be getting out of control.
With the tension of a thriller, NINEPINS explores the idea of family, and the volatile and changing relationships between mothers and daughters, in a landscape that is beautiful but - as they all discover - perilous.