Lewis and Hathaway are called in to investigate the death of Reuben Beatty who works at the University of Oxford's Department of Psychology. He has been discovered dead injected by etorphine, a paralysing agent in the offices of psychic ?Randolph James'.
Lewis and Hobson are looking at the body of Vicki Walmsley as a theft of etorphine is reported by the Garsington Equine Centre. The drug was last used a year earlier on a horse that hurt its teenage rider, Joshua, the brother-in-law of Reuben Beatty, the first hug victim. Joshua's mother Jane ends up admitting that she saw Reuben on the day of his hug. Polly, Reuben's wife, hands over her husband's appointment book, which reveals an unknown client who went by the initials of ?K.D'. Lewis and Hathaway look through Crane's files and find a vital clue that leads them towards the murderer.
Hathaway is away enjoying a holiday in Kosovo and Lewis goes to see Louise Cornish, who is upset that her husband Jack has walked out on the family. An embalmed body is found dumped by an isolated farm track and Funeral director, Brian Miller identifies the body with local doctor Matt Whitby, confirming the man died of cancer. After the crematorium confirms that a body was burned, Lewis is left with one burning question, who was actually inside the coffin?
Liam Jay is in intensive care and Lewis and Alex believe that he has information about the death of Matt Whiby and the mysterious cremation. It is revealed by Emma Barnes that Johnny Jay, Liam's father, was at the fateful supper party and he is missing as well.
The body of Richard Seager a former Biochemist, is found under a Jaguar Mark 2. The day before, the victim had been collected from prison by his wife, Martha Seager after serving a year for causing death by dangerous driving. Before his death, Seager managed to scratch the number ?500' into the car's paintwork.
Lewis, Hathaway and Hobson look around the new crime scene as Carl Drew, Stella Drew, Martha Seager, Adam Tibbit, Graham Yardley and Adam's girlfriend Rachel Cliff wait anxiously. The body is revealed to be that of Soo-Min Chong, a Korean student who vanished 15 years ago. Seager was the last person to see her alive, Carl Drew was her boyfriend, and she was Martha's organ scholar at the chapel. Hathaway is later shocked to discover Adam's body at the school, with a simple suicide note. Carl, Adam's former teacher believes that he must have pushed the boy too hard. Forensics end up revealing a close relative of Adam's had been in Seager's car. After Martha is found embraced to death, Lewis and Hathaway start to close in on the hugger who is becoming more desperate to cover their tracks.