When Annie Tisman opens a parcel containing a human tongue, Bob Bletcher asks Frank Black for help. This is the fourth package within the last four years containing fingers or other members cut from living victims - but no bodies were ever found.
When Cheryl Andrews, expert pathologist of the Millennium Group, checks the tongue she discovers that it has been removed postmortem - the killer has changed his MO.
When Bardale, a career criminal, is released from prison, a man who introduces himself as the Judge makes him an offer - to carry out his verdicts in exchange for immunity. His first job: to kill his predecessor, a man named Carl Nearman who botched the last job, the killing of former police officer Jonathan Mellen.
Mellen´s body is discovered in the woods. When Frank visits the morgue, Carl Nearman´s body is on the table. In a vision he sees a connection between Mellen and Nearman. When Catherine tells him that Annie Tisman´s husband died twelve years ago in prison where he was sent because of a wrongful statement from Mellen. Frank pins the mastermind behind Nearman as a vigilante with a special brand of justice.
Bardale does another job - he amputates the leg of Mr. Biggs, a nasty house owner who neglects his tenants. The police arrive too late. Biggs bleeds to death.
Frank finds the bar where the Judge recruited Nearman and, later, Bardale. The latter escapes, but a car leads to the Judge. The vigilante makes Frank an offer - to work for him in exchange for safety for himself and his family. The evidence against the Judge is not sufficient, so Bletcher has to let him go.
Later, Frank finds Bardale at the ranch of the Judge who he has fed to his pigs and talks him into giving up. The question remains: Who was the mastermind behind the Judge?