When twelve-year-old Molly Carmichael goes missing en route to her best friend's birthday party, DS Lasser fears the worst. Then a body is found dumped on a bleak, snow-covered lane and those fears are realised. So, when Melanie Parker is snatched from the roadside, Lasser knows that if they don't find her, and quick, then the madman will claim his second victim.
On the frozen streets of a northern town, someone is hunting young girls, someone who is interested in saving their souls from a harsh world full of lies and deceit.
The killer is sick and twisted, yet he's also careful and working to a plan, a plan devised by God. But is that a God of his own making?
Arnie Webb and Roland Fish happily spend their days in a drink-fuelled haze in the church grounds. The madman also likes to sit and watch the children's faces light up when they see the gargoyles on the ancient parish church. Their smiles prove their innocence. An innocence that must be protected at all costs.
Meanwhile Robert Bush becomes the focus of a witch-hunt with only his dog, his friend Jerry Morse and local reporter Michael Brewster, on his side. And, as always, Brewster has an ulterior motive and he sees Bush as a stepping stone back to the big time, an inside scoop that will be the envy of his colleagues.
When a man is found hanged in Bush's house, everyone assumes it is Bush who has committed suicide before he is caught and questioned over the death of Molly Carmichael. Yet, there is no sign that Molly was ever in the house and no clues as to where the missing Melanie Parker has vanished to.
With no idea as to Melanie's whereabouts, her parents' marriage descends into a spiral of guilt and accusation.
Meanwhile, Molly's father blames Tiffany Reece's parents for his daughter's death. Unable to cope with the grief and anger he visits them, with horrifying consequences.
With all the hatred, violence and confusion spiralling around him, Lasser struggles to see through the fog and follow the clues.
There is only one thing to do to solve the case and that is to go back to school.