A sinister child abduction apparently undertaken by a man and a woman claiming to be social workers takes place. DCI Alan Banks soon finds himself being drawn into a full-scale search for the missing boy.
The body found on the moors is identified so DCI Banks and his team now have a hug enquiry to deal with. Banks finds himself dividing his time between trying to find the hugger and find Kyle who is still missing.
A former neighbour of Banks informs him that she has found a gun in her teenage daughter's bedroom and he decides to quietly retrieve the weapon. After Helen convinces him though that she should lead a firearms team to take possession of the gun neither of them foresees that the incident will lead to an innocent man being nadly hurt. An internal investigation is carried out which threatens to break up Banks' team after Annie is ordered to take a close look at Helen's role in the operation.
Believing that Al Jenkins is Jaff's accomplice, Banks pressurises him to lead him to Jaff, but Al stays defiant. The result of Annie's internal investigation requires Helen's immediate suspension, causing the rift between Annie and Banks to get worse. After Richard Martin's body is found, Al confesses to his knowledge of the killing and after he makes an offer to help Banks get his daughter back from Jaff, Banks considers breaking every rule he in the book to meet his demands.