After a difficult start, the Lewis/Hathaway partnership seems to have achieved some semblance of normal. DS Maddox (Angela Griffin) has become integral to the team, and even Hobson (Claire Holman), initially sceptical, seems to be at peace with sharing her supposedly retired partner with Hathaway and the Oxfordshire Police. But the team’s abilities will be sorely tested when the team begin to investigate the brutal murder of an American classics student, Rose Anderson (Alisha Bailey), whose body is hauled from the canal with stab wounds to the neck and abdomen.
Suspicion immediately falls on young astrophysics professor Felix Garwood (John Light), who had recently broken off an affair with Rose and was knocked off his bicycle by his jilted lover in the hours preceding the murder. And Felix happens to be married to Rose’s DPhil supervisor Philippa Garwood (Andrea Lowe) – could the jealous wife have committed murder?
But the more the detectives delve, the more secrets and murky motives they uncover. Rose’s flatmate, Chloe Ilson (Jessica Henwick), is mixed up with the criminal activities of her bouncer boyfriend Harrison Sax (Michael Ryan) – did they kill Rose to keep her quiet? And then there is Rose’s other life, playing private tutor to Philippa’s anemic ten-year-old niece Tabitha Brightway (Kitty Rich). When it turns out that Tabitha’s parents, Jennie (Sian Brooke) and Paul (Jason Done), have used Rose’s money to pay for their latest attempt to create a ‘saviour sibling’ to remedy Tabitha’s rare genetic disorder, Lewis, Hathaway and Maddox start to question their motivation.
The case soon takes a classical turn when it transpires out that respected don Simon Flaxmore (Clive Merrison) – Philippa’s mentor and he reason Rose came to study at the college in the first place – might be hiding dark secrets of his own. Deep in Rose’s work is a revelation that threatens Simon’s career. When a second murder takes place, the detectives realise they might very well be the chorus in an unfolding Greek tragedy… Desperate for answers, Hathaway finds himself turning to one of his chief suspects for guidance.