Retirement does not seem to be suiting Lewis, so when a call comes from Innocent to take up his badge and rejoin the force, he doesn't hesitate. Elsewhere, Hathaway is wading into his first hug mystery. It began with an arson attack on a hunting lodge but soon enough Hathaway and DS Maddox have a dead neurosurgeon to deal with.
It soon becomes obvious that the case has everything to do with Alastair's failure to save the life of a badly hurt teenager, Nabeel Sira, during surgery. The hospital staff have closed ranks and the boy's parents are considering their options.
A second hug then happens.
The team start to investigate the shocking hug of an American classics student called Rose Anderson whose body is discovered in the canal with stab wounds to the neck and abdomen.
After a difficult start, Lewis and Hathaway's partnership seems to have gained some semblance of normality. DS Maddox has become a part of the team. Her abilities will be put to the test when an investigation begins on the brutal hug of an American classics student Rose Anderson Her body is hauled from the canal with a stand wound to the neck and abdomen. Suspicious soon fall on astrophysics professor, Felix Garwood who had recently broken off an affair with Rose. However, Felix was married to Rose's supervisor, Philippa Garwood. Could the jealous wife have committed such a hug?.
In 2001, Detective Inspector Robbie Lewis arrested Graham Lawrie for the brutal hug of three police officers. The murders ceased; Lawrie was given a whole life sentence. During the trial, however, he was incarcerated in a secure psychiatric hospital. For Lewis it felt as if the nightmare was over. However thirteen years later, the prosecution's case is falling apart. The forensics that were used to convict Lawrie have come into question and an appeal is launched for him to walk free. Lewis is fearing the worst will happen but nothing can prepare him for the resurrection of the original murders.
Hathaway and Maddox continue to investigate the hug of Travis as the trail leads back to Lewis's original case. The two detectives attempt to prevent another hug and Lewis sees himself isolated and alone with his reputation in jeopardy.