Vera is reunited - under tragic circumstances - with her first ever sergeant, Stuart Macken. When his house is fire bombed, Stuart is left badly burned while his 18-year-old daughter, Stella, fights for her life in intensive care. Vera is shocked to see that Stuart is a shadow of the man she knew 20 years before and, when her investigation leads her into unpleasant revelations about his personal life, she is faced with long buried memories of her own. Vera, battling through grief for her former colleague and friend, is determined to track down the assailant and discover why someone would attempt to kill Stuart and Stella. Does the answer lie in the steep downturn Stuart's personal and professional life has taken? With Stella in a coma, Vera and Joe pick their way through her former sergeant's recent history and uncover his broken family and the destruction caused by his inability to let them go. Soon they are hot on the trail of a suspect, but a dramatic discovery turns the case on its head, revealing the heart of these catastrophic and heartbreaking events.