Wigan in the middle of a wet winter is hardly the stuff dreams are made of but for once DS Lasser is happy. His love life couldn't be better, he has a reason to go home every day.
Tom Hammond and his young son, Johnny are enjoying an afternoon's fishing at a local lake. Johnny is ecstatic when his line hooks something big, something huge in fact. When his father takes over young Johnny paddles in with the keepnet at the ready. But what surfaces isn't what they expect and Johnny Hammond is left screaming as the rain falls and the body sinks back beneath the dark water.
The next morning, Lasser and Bannister wait for the body, that of a dark-haired female, to be brought to the surface. Eventually the water boys edge the body to the bank. Only it isn't a female but a male. Struggling to understand, Lasser glances round, just as another body explodes to the surface. By the end of the day three bodies will have been pulled from the water, but what links them and why were they placed there?
It soon becomes apparent that someone is trying to refine a new drug before it hits the streets, a drug that leaves people dead. Someone is using people as lab rats, and they don't care who they kill as they try to perfect the product. At least that is what Lasser thinks as he tries to track the killer down. But all is not as it seems and as the body count rises, Lasser finds himself questioning the facts of the case. Someone is using smoke and mirrors to muddy the waters and Lasser soon discovers that the real truth is much darker, much deeper than the lake the bodies were dumped in.