Accused of pushing a boy to his death, DCI Doug Stirling is suspended from duty. Attacked in the media and haunted by the boy’s eyes as he let go of Stirling's hand, he must watch helplessly as an incompetent colleague bent on destroying him investigates the boy’s death.
Weeks later, a burnt-out car containing a savagely murdered, unidentified man leads ACC Steph Tanner to take a professional risk in appointing Stirling to lead the investigation. But with no witnesses, no forensic evidence and more theories than he has investigators, Stirling's investigation has too many 'loose threads' as a complex, interwoven history of deception, betrayal and sadistic relationships is revealed. Is the investigation as complex as it appears, or is there a simpler explanation?
With time the enemy and still traumatised by the boy's death, can Stirling bring the killer, or killers, to justice before his career is ruined? And then there are the women in his life. Things were already difficult enough when DC Helen Williams joins the team, a determined woman intent on rekindling their past relationship. And might Ayesha, the beautiful lawyer Stirling has grown fond of, be connected to the murder?