Marcella Backland left the Metropolitan Police for the sake of her family, only to have her husband leave her. She returns to her job on the murder squad, investigating a case that ms disturbingly familiar to her.
Former detective Marcella Backland is shocked to the core when her husband Jason leaves her unexpectedly, confessing he no longer loves her. Heartbroken, she returns to her job on the Met's murder squad that she gave up 10 years before to have her second child, and decides to follow up on a hunch she had in a case involving a serial killer.
The Gibson family are in a state of panic when Grace is discovered missing, and Marcella tries to make sense of the previous evening's events, scouring CCTV footage in an attempt to discover more about her disappearance. Cara returns home from her latest job, in which she has stolen a watch, some earrings and a bracelet, but is unaware of their significance and the danger she's put herself in, with all of the items recognisable as trophies taken by the Grove Park Killer.
Grace's body is discovered by the police and Marcella tries to keep her head and hide the fact that she was one of the last people to see her alive. Sylvie is distraught at the loss of her daughter and her dismay is further compounded when she learns that Grace and Jason were having an affair, while Henry tries to find comfort with his friends Matthew and Yann. Meanwhile, Peter is released from open prison and makes a beeline for Maddy, who lies to him about having a boyfriend.
An aborted attack on an elderly man gives the police a new lead in the Grove Park killings, while Marcella tries to track down the taxi driver from outside Grace Gibson's house, fearful that he saw her on the night of the murder.
Mo holds the police responsible when Hassan is shot, while Marcella triumphs over Peter Cullen and finally gets the information she is after relating to Grace's death. Jason manages to get his job at DTG back - but at what cost? - and deliveryman Ronnie makes the mistake of his life.
The killer's next victim is a six-year-old girl, which devastates Marcella, and a DNA match gives the police team its strongest lead yet. Meanwhile, DI Tim Williamson investigates Andrew Barnes' death - was it really suicide?
Mo confronts Marcella after finding his brother dead, while the detective has her doubts as the police continue to investigate Yann. Tim starts to look into the curious circumstances surrounding the death of Andrew Barnes, bringing him into contact with Jason.
In her desperate hunt for Matthew, Marcella questions Henry at his home. Meanwhile, the pressure mounts on Jason as Tim's investigation into the murder of Andrew Barnes gathers pace, and the killer is finally revealed, causing shockwaves among the entire team.
Marcella investigates when a body is discovered inside a wall, clothed in a school blazer and surrounded by soft toys. The detective soon works out that the victim is Leo Priestley, who had been abducted a few years beforehand and was a friend of her son Edward.
Dr Fairclough tells Marcella that it might be a good idea to go back to the root cause of her blackouts - Juliet's cot death. But when she tries to relive that moment at her home, the resulting stress levels put her into another fugue state. Meanhile, the team is called out when the driver of a car abandons his vehicle after a fatal collision with a cyclist and police attending the scene open the boot to discover a body surrounded by the same stuffed toys found with Leo.
Marcella digs deep in her attempts to take down Phil Dawkins, but her dogged pursuit has tragic consequences, causing her to question everything. Meanwhile, her ongoing blackouts mean she has to face up to the threat of losing her children.
Adam gets away from the killer's prison but loses consciousness while trying to escape in the car of an elderly couple. Meanwhile, Marcella confronts Reg about a binder that was stolen from his house, while Phil sets his sights on the detective.
Kevin Hoffs and his blue lorry are found abandoned in a lay by. Leann informs Marcella that the lorry had been there for 36 hours. After analysing Adam's phone records, the team become aware that Adam had contacted the KidsCall helpline. Marcella heads there to retrieve the records and Maya is helpful despite both women having Tim Williamson in common. From Adam's records they see that he'd admitted to being abused by his father but his father has alibis for many incidents surrounding the case.
Marcella heads to Nigel Stafford's house to question him. As she walks around the house she finds a small grave before heading inside the unlocked door. Inside she's confronted by Nigel, holding a knife.
Marcella has no time to lose as the killer has Edward. Following leads she races to the killer's house, but finds it empty except for a ringing phone. However, a premonition offers up clues, but can she get to her child before it is too late?