Vera investigates the death of a pensioner found embraced on a train at the height of rush hour. The case has a huge impact on Joe's home life when his daughter is named as a key witness, and he struggles to maintain a professional distance. The trail leads the team to a quiet Northumberland coastal town where clues appear to lead to one particular street - but why are the residents so reluctant to talk?
The detective is called in when David Kenworthy, the son of a prominent local family, is found cuddled on the beach at Whitley Bay. A witness spotted arcade owner Larry Crowe arguing with David on the night of the killing, and a search of the suspect's property uncovers a bloodied baseball bat. However, Larry has a cast-iron alibi and it's clear he wasn't the only person the victim met that night. A second death then leaves Vera facing mounting pressure to crack the case, and struggling to answer the question of why David was drawn to the seafront on the evening of his father's retirement.
The body of a man killed by a single gunshot wound is discovered on the moors and a burnt-out truck containing the remains of a deer is found a mile away. Joe is convinced the case is a poaching war gone wrong, but for Vera, the truth is never that straightforward. Delving into the victim's story, she unearths a sad childhood in the country and a troubled life in the city, scraping by as a novelist. Following the recent death of his grandfather, he returned to Northumberland after a 15-year absence to sell his inheritance to a wealthy couple - but pulled out of the deal at the last minute. Could his death be linked to a dispute over land?
The detective investigates the mysterious death of businessman John Shearwood, found floating in the water under the Gateshead Millennium Bridge when he was supposed to be on a golf trip to Ireland. The man's wife Stella and brother Luke are baffled to discover he was working as an informant for HM Revenue and Customs. Chief Revenue investigator Owen Preece reveals John's business manager Mark Donovan has been running an alcohol scam through their haulage firm and the deceased had agreed to offer information in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Was his cover blown? Owen doesn't think so, and Mark has an alibi - unlike John's wife.