A drunk driver smashes his car into a young man. He leaves the body by the side of the road abd, wrestling with guilt, tries to put it all out of his mind - until a blackmail note arrives.
Then a second, possibly related killing proves that this is no ordinary case. The police, desperate for answers, struggle to decipher the clues to these appalling crimes. Soon Van Veeteren, now retired, is compelled to re-enter the world he left behind. He will face the greatest trial of his career as he seeks vengeance for the death of someone who was close to him.