12 years ago
It's a young boy's birthday party, but all the guests are adults. One of them is Tommy Lynley. The boy's older sister Julia is filming the guests. When the boy, Julian, is supposed to go to bed, he goes missing.
Tommy is unshaved and drunk in his apartment. He prepares himself another drink, despite it is still early in the morning, when his phone rings. It's the father of the still-missing boy. They found remains matching the description. When he leaves, Barbara Havers comes by to talk to him. She's worried about him. He still hasn't returned to work, since the tragic event of Helen's death.
Tommy picks up the parents and they drive to the scene where the remains were found. It is obvious that it is the boy, since some of his toys are discovered too.
They drive back to the estate of the family, which wasn't used since, when the mother gets a call from Julia that she will not come back from Italy for the funeral. Tommy learns that she never got over the disappearance of her brother.
In Rome he meets Julia, who works now as a teacher. He convinces her to come back with him over a coup of coffee. They return to her apartment to pick up some things. A man storms out of that apartment, who has apparently stolen something. They lose him in the chase, but find out in which hotel he is staying. So they break into that hotel room.
Back in England, Tommy takes her to his place. It's not his apartment, but "some friend's" as he explains. They go out for a drink. They discuss about their past relationships and how they live now. They drink plenty of wine, before they return to his apartment. In front of it, they start kissing. They enter and progress to the bedroom.
In the night Tommy gets up leaving Julia in the bed and steps out on the balcony. She joins him.
She gets a call and goes into the other room. Tommy listens on the door.
They return to bed again.
Later in the night, while he is asleep, she gets up this time.
The next morning, the police storm the apartment and wakes Tommy. He asks where Julia is, when a police officer drags him to the balcony, pointing at Julia who is dead on the sidewalk in front of the house. He is shocked.
He is questioned by the police. He explains that she must have been murdered, since everyone agrees that she did not kill herself. The police officer in charge arrests Tommy for the murder of Julia.
At the police station he is obviously still in grieving. He finds her small city map in his pocket and starts to cry.
Havers tries to convince Superintendent Tate to let her speak with him. Havers explains that he has such a tough time, six months after Helen's death. She finally gets to go in and talk with him. He is surprised to see her. He forces the "evidence" he collected in the hotel room in Rome on her, when Conrad, a friend of Tommy's, enters and explains that he will be Tommy's lawyer. Havers leaves.
Havers meets with Lafferty outside and gives him the piece Tommy gave her – to check for prints, after hours and to hide it from Tate.
Inside Lynley is questioned by Tate, who attacks Lynley. She questions the sex, the phone call she got and the three bottles of red wine he enjoyed with Julia. Havers listens outside. Tate starts to question him about Helen. His lawyer tries to step in. Another officer informs Tate outside that Julia was the one initiating the relationship, so it couldn't be a rape case. She also didn't have any defence wounds or signs of any struggle, but needle sticks in her arms were discovered – like a former drug addict.
Conrad starts to talk now. He explains that Julia once was a heroin addict a couple of years ago and a very instable, depressed person. Tate is forced to release Tommy, but he has to stay in London. Julia's parents arrive; they both are really angry at Lynley, but agree to listen to him.
In the lab, Lafferty finds some prints. He finds a match. They belong to a Gregory Sullivan and calls Havers.
Meanwhile Barbara and Tommy are in a bar where he has a drink.
Later Lynley, Havers and Lafferty meet outside of the suspect apartment. They knock on Sullivan's door. When he doesn't open, Tommy kicks in the door. Inside the walls are covered with newspaper articles. On the computers only two words show up: Rich Mattland. Sullivan returns home. He hands over a piece of paper to Tommy. He claims that Julia once saved his life.
Lafferty meets with Tate to get Julia's body handed over to him for a second post mortem examination. Tate questions him about Lynley, but he refuses to answer.
Sullivan tells Lynley and Havers that Julia got him cancer treatment for £20,000, because she knew he is an innocent man who had nothing to do with her brother's death. Sullivan just returned from Rome, so he isn't a suspect any more.
Havers and Lynley meet with Julia's parents in their home. Her father Sam doesn't say a word. Her mother is angry at Tommy. Havers questions them if it might be possible if Julia killed her own brother. The parents get really angry so the two leave.
Tommy, Barbara, Conrad and his father watch the birthday video Julia made 12 years ago. Tommy and Havers take off, when they find new evidence.
Tate steps in to Lafferty's examination. She wants to know what Lynley knows and she doesn't. She's angry.
Later Lafferty finds something in her mouth. It might be part of a glove, used to kill Julia. He calls Lynley right away.
Meanwhile Conrad meets with one of his old girlfriends, Christine. She knew Julia as well. The other three question her about what happened back then. She reveals that the boy's father caused the broken arm of the boy back then.
When the four leave Christine again, the theory is that Sam might have killed his own son.
Sam brings another son to the old home and reveals some of the family history. He reveals that he wasn't successful in business. He gives the boy some whisky.
The mother realizes that Sam and her son are gone and calls Tommy. In the basement Sam tries to kill himself. It is revealed that Julian wasn't his son. Tommy then tells Sam that Julia was murdered.
Back in the living room, Sam reveals the truth about the past. He explains that Julia knew about his bad business 12 years ago and about Justin's arm. That's when things broke between Sam and Julia.
In the local pub, Tommy, Barbara, Conrad and his father meet. They try to figure out what happened 12 years ago. Where did Julia bring her brother?
The boy's remains are brought to Lafferty. It appears that the boy was hit by a white car back then. Christine drove a white car back then – and Conrad was with her then. Conrad tried to stop her back then, because she was really drunk. They drive to Christine to question her. Christine denies to have had the accident back then. They also question her about Julia's murder.
Lafferty calls Havers – it must have been a police car back then or another emergency vehicle, so it wasn't Christine.
Things heat up between Tommy and Conrad's father who was a police officer in uniform back then! Tommy tries to hit him, but only breaks off the back mirror of his car and cuts his hand.
The car from the accident back then is burned, by McCarthy, Conrad's father. Meanwhile Havers gets the information about an accident back then.
Inside Christine gets a phone call with nobody on the other end. She packs up her things, but flees before she is finished. A man follows her.
Tate and Lafferty clash over the latest evidence. She found out he hid things from her.
Meanwhile Lynley and Havers find the burned car wreck. They get a call that Christine has been murdered.
They rush back and find her body. McCarthy gets a phone call from Tate. Tate arrested Lafferty and McCarthy now arrests Tommy. Tommy realizes that Christine has his blood on her shirt. In the car Tommy questions McCarthy. It turns out that McCarthy hates Lynley. McCarthy might have been the one who killed Julian.
In London McCarthy is arrested, because Lafferty found a DNA match on Julia. Lynley is free again.
McCarthy confesses that he knew Julia returned to London.
Meanwhile Havers is with Conrad, when she spots the belt that might have been used to kill Christine. She tries to arrest him, when he starts to beat her.
In custody McCarthy gets some details wrong how he killed Julia, ticking Tommy off, that it might not have been him.
Conrad packs his things, while Havers is cuffed. It turns out that he drove the car that killed the boy, he was drunk back then. He killed Christine, because she was with him in the car back then. He convinced Christine to "talk" with Julia. The three of them did know the truth. Conrad got rid of the body back then.
He now threatens Havers with a knife. He takes her as hostage when they leave his apartment, when Lynley arrives. Conrad takes off, chased by Lynley. Tate also arrives with a number of officers to arrest him.