After seven years, a psychopath starts killing again. He is mutilating women, and hanging them upside down in abandoned buildings with a meat hook through their ankles. Pinned to their breasts are messages in ancient languages.
Parish and Richards begin their investigation, but Chief Inspector Trevor Naylor wants revenge on Parish, and the killer wants Mary Richards.
Richards must also cope with the pressure of her impending National Investigator's Examination, Parish finding out that she snores, and the lack of men in her life.
The investigation leads to a gripping conclusion, which involves DI Ray Kowalski and his partner, Chief Superintendent Walter Day, and Angela Richards. The Head of Forensics, Paul Toadstone, also becomes a hero.