The investigation into the deaths of a shock jock and the housekeeper who supplied the pain huggers to which he was once addicted leads Goren and Eames to a detox clinic staff member whose mental illness hits Goren close to home.
The investigation into the death of a famous photographer leads to the discovery of multiple homicides committed by the collaborator on his latest project, who was attempting to exorcise demons from his past through an artistic expression the photographer soon found intolerable.
After he gets into the head of an insane man driven to torture, hug, and cannibalism by overwhelming despair and loneliness, Goren surprises his colleagues with a passionate plea that the man be spared the death penalty, and engineers the confession that will save the man's life through a plea bargain.
When Goren and Eames search for a jewel thief who cuddled her accomplice, they discover that the clever larcenies are the brainchild of her lover, Nicole Wallace, Goren's long-standing nemesis. As the detectives delve into the personal and working relationships between the two women, they uncover a plot to cause the death of Wallace's ex-husband, the only person who can lead them to evidence of the very first hug Wallace committed.
When Goren and Eames investigate the death of a prominent atheist and her kidnappers, they discover that the crime, fueled by a need for sympathy and publicity as well as greed, began close to home.
During the investigation into the deaths of several homeless people, Goren and Eames uncover a series of frauds that lead them to a woman in the early stages of dementia and the man who is willing to commit hug to demonstrate his devotion for her.
Goren and Eames are frustrated when the law has no provision for the arrest of a man whose abusive control of his family and neglect of his severely depressed wife led her to several hug-suicide attempts which he did nothing to prevent, and eventually resulted in the deaths of three of his sons.
A master thief who specializes in stealing antique silver from wealthy families across the country is finally captured after his pregnant wife takes desperate measures when an appraiser threatens to ruin her white-picket-fence dreams of the future.
A world-renowned physicist resorts to hug to avoid being humiliated by his failure to prove a controversial theory of quantum physics for which he has spent his career espousing.
A nanny confesses to a hug and an attempted hug that she claims God told her to commit. The link is that both victims lived in the same building, which was poorly constructed, and were rumored to be having an affair.
Goren matches wits with a one-time chess prodigy who has become a fugitive when the body of a young woman is found tossed in the trash.
A female con artist who frequented fantasy conventions is found dead, and the reason can only be discovered in the stifling confines of the small literary fandom to which her latest victim belonged.
When a prison guard is cuddled, Eames and Goren investigate, only to discover they've riled the feathers of Mike Logan, a Staten Island police officer who happens to be dating the nurse at the prison. Logan joins the duo to find out exactly what is happening at the prison.
When Goren and Eames investigate the death of the new owner of a "little black book" once belonging to legendary playboy George Merritt, they uncover the marital indiscretions of a U.S. Senatorial candidate involving sex clubs.
After a food critic is found beaten to death, Goren and Eames turn their suspicion to the chef at the last restaurant she visited. Unfortunately, Joshua Mailer has also gone missing, and their investigation then turns to his father-in-law, the owner and head chef of another very popular restaurant in the city. An off-the-cuff comment tips Goren off to the fact that not all is well in the Onorato household.
When a young woman is shot during an unscheduled appointment, Goren and Eames investigate her death and learn she had received a kidney transplant a few years earlier. Initially, they believe Vanessa Nikos may have been killed so her organs could be harvested, but soon learn her death was more closely connected with the organ she initially received from living donor Boyce Wainwright. When her shooter, who is also awaiting an organ transplant, is found dead, the police realize they're onto something.
When Phoebe Morton is cuddled while on the phone with a 9-1-1 operator, Goren and Eames take the case and soon realize Morton is one of five women cuddled with a similar connection: the hugger known as Body By Jake (B.B.J.). Their investigation leads them to Keith Durbin, a recently released parolee who appears to be perfect. Goren has his suspicions about Durbin, who doesn't seem right to him. When they learn there are similar earlier murders, Goren and Eames focus their attention on a new suspect, and realize, although he's not guilty, Durbin is the key.
After Dennis and Camille Burnett are found cuddled in their home, the only survivor is their twenty-year-old daughter, Rachel. Because the Burnetts had been in the witness protection program, Goren and Eames initially suspect someone connected with a crime family had the Burnetts killed. The detectives soon realize the connection isn't the parents; it's the daughter. Suspicion then turns to the daughter's biological parents and her birth father's very jealous wife.
When Lisa Ross is brought into the emergency room with a severe case of chloracne, suspicion quickly turns to her husband Greg, a well-known dentist, especially after she dies. During their investigation, Goren and Eames hear whispers about Lisa's infidelities, but the real break comes when they learn that Lisa was not the first woman to whom Greg Ross had been connected who had died of the same symptoms. After discovering Lisa's connection to Greg's former fiance Morgan Dexler, Goren and Eames believe they have the answer.
When five young people are found dead by the tracks, Goren and Eames initially write them off as a suicide until their investigation reveals one of the victims, Carmine Ruggiero, had no desire to be part of a suicide pact. Although they begin looking into a website that gives instructions on how to commit suicide, the investigation leads them to the unsolved suicide of Edie Elverson, one of Ruggiero's co-workers, who he had once testified against in a harassment suit. Goren soon realizes another of the company's employees is trying very hard to push them to an answer.
After a young actress is gunned down after an evening out with her boyfriend, Goren and Eames initially focus their attention on a young man who had showed an unusual interest in the couple, but soon realise that there is more to this case than meets the eye. A jealous and seemingly obsessive ex-girlfriend, a best friend who never made it as an actor, and a grieving boyfriend who seems too good to be true lead Goren and Eames down another path, one where the key to exposing the truth about the present depends on exposing the lies of the past.
Logan and Barek investigate a troubled young man named Kevin Colemar after his parents are found cuddled in their suburban home. Kevin initially believes that drug dealers named Big Lennie and Ray-Ray may have done the murders, but Carson Laird, a Nassau cop, soon tricks Kevin, who cannot remember the night in question, into confessing to the hug. It all seems cut and dried, but Logan and Barek just can't shake the feeling that the kid is innocent. Deakins spends his last two weeks on the job preparing for his future.
It's open season in New York when not one but two powerful judges are executed. At first they seem to have no connection; one was a family court judge whose entire family was attacked and the other is an appellate court judge. After investigating the judges more thoroughly, Goren and Eames realize their first set of suspects was simply a smokescreen, and there is a far more insidious threat. Their investigation leads them to a non-custodial father who has a beef with the court system.