The show is based on Elizabeth George’s novels. A new season just started on the BBC.
Lynley is recovering from witnessing the death of his wife, six months ago.
He is still on compassionate leave.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
The action starts with a video camera that is kept running on the 11/11/1994 during a boy’s birthday party. Justin, the kid in question, is abducted. Thomas was part of the party.
12 years later, DI Lynley is drinking wine in his flat, he gets a ring from Justin’s father. Justin’s body has been found. His old partner is pestering him about his drinking. Something happened to Lynley and he’s been seeing a police psychologist.
The local DIs are digging up the body. Mike McCaffrey tells them that they need a DNA test to identify the body. Vivian wants to see the body, but there is not that much left.
He was lodged in an old drain; the river overflowed from a few days ago dredged the body up. It was covered in bricks and earth. The most likely cause of death was BFT to the head. Lynley mentions that they need a forensic pathologist. From the way Mike McCaffrey is talking, it looks like Lynley lost his wife recently.
Conrad McCaffrey, Mike’s son, comes in a 6 series BMW convertible to join his father. They are looking for Julia. The last they heard of her, she was teaching in Rome.
I’ll say this for tragedy. Clears the mind like the acid bath.
Sam to Lynley.
The embassy in Italy got a hold of Julia and she’s not coming home for Justin’s funeral. She never forgave her parents for having another child after Justin’s disappearance. Lynley goes to meet her in Rome.
Lynley tries to talk to her about it and to make her come back for the funeral, but she doesn’t want to. Lynley says that she needs to say goodbye. Julia says that she needs to pack.
Lynley is on compassionate leave. His wife Helen died. When they arrive at her flat, it has been broken into. Lynley goes after the perpetrator. They loose him, but Julia finds a tissue from Hotel Fontana. After bribing the doorman, they are informed that an English man is living in room #9. They find a paper from Julia’s home town. This isn’t a coincidence.
They crash at Lynley’s residence, who’s actually staying at a friend’s place.
Life is what happens when you are making other plans.
Julia to Lynley.
Lynley is strangely flirting with Julia, which seems a bit improper. They kiss in the stairway on the way up to the flat. Things go a bit further when they step inside. Then, her cell phone rings.
They continue were they left off. In the morning, police come knocking for Tommie and he are taken away by the cops. He sees Julia’s body dead in an apparent suicide jump.
He confesses to having sex with her. He informs the Detective Superintendent Tate about the apartment break-in that happened in Rome, but he doesn’t have any proof. He is arrested for suspicion of murder.
Lynley’s partner DC Havers convinces the DS Tate so that she can see him first.
Conrad appears to be Tommie’s solicitor. The interview isn’t going very well. From DS Havers’ words, we learn that Tommie is actually an Earl. There is no forensic evidence to support the DS’ claims or suspicions. Conrad forces the DS’ hands to release him.
Lynley is confronted with Sam and Vivian, Julia’s parents. They are visibly upset with Lynley for bedding their daughter.
Lynley is back at drinking in a pub with his partner. She isn’t too happy with him either. They have a tech/pathologist named Lafferty working on the pillbox that Lynley found in the room in Hotel Fontana. The prints match to Gregory Sullivan.
They have an address on the perp. He is talking some cancer drugs that are available only on mail order from the States. He is a programmer. While they are looking for these things, Sullivan arrives. He gives them a paper proving that Julia Oborne was his benefactor. He has proof that excludes him from being a suspect.
Julia was feeling guilty about her brother’s death. Does that mean that she was involved?
Sullivan was suspected for Justin’s death. He lost everything because of this.
DS Havers tells the Oborne’s that they suspect that Julia was involved in his brother’s death.
Lynley reviews the tape from the birthday party in 94. They see that Sam was getting hammered. Later, there is a confrontation between Julia and Sam. Mike McCaffrey tells Lynley that Sam never mentioned it in 95, so he will probably deny it ever happening now.
Mike points to another person of interest, the nanny. Conrad had an affair with Christine Faraday, the nanny. She was sacked. She has an alibi. She got a call the night of the murder from Julia.
Lafferty is doing the second post-mortem. Tate wants to know what Lynley is up to, but Lafferty isn’t saying anything.
Christine is a bit reticent to say anything about the Obornes, but after a bit of prodding and a reminder that they falsely accused her of breaking Justin’s arm, she tells them that Julia knew who broke Justin’s arm; Sam. Justin has messed up some papers, and Sam broke his arm.
Lafferty says that Julia was killed by asphyxiation minutes before she was thrown down. But that means that Lynley would be arrested for murder.
The squad is unsure if Sam was Justin’s father.
Sam is telling his son Oliver that he is going to take a long trip. He explains that he wanted to earn his own money. He failed and that was the start of all of their problems.
Vivian notices that Sam is gone and phones Lynley, who makes his way to the estate with DC Havers. They find the boy unharmed. They hear a shot, and see that Sam was trying to shoot himself. He missed.
Sam admits to breaking Justin’s arm and threatens to shoot himself. Tommie tells him that Julia was murdered. Lynley was able to diffuse the situation. Sam recounts what happened between him and Julia the night that Justin disappeared. Julia threatened to leave with Justin if he touched him again. Julia told him that he wasn’t the father, and Sam backhanded her on her face.
Mike learns that Tommie is withholding evidence from DS Tate. He isn’t happy about the situation.
Lafferty has finished examining Justin’s body. He tells them that he was probably been killed by a white car. Mike remembers that Christine was driving an old white Fiesta the night of the disappearance of Justin.
They confront Christine. Christine tells them that she didn’t take her car. In the end, she walked home. This removes her from being a suspect in Justin’s death. Lafferty comes up with some new evidence. They think it was a police car because of the paint sealant. Lynley tries to counsel Mike, but he isn’t happy about the way things are going down. Lynley thinks that Mike might be involved. He is checking up on him.
Mike is burning the car that hit Justin. Christine runs away after she gets a suspicious phone call. She is being chased. Lafferty gets confronted by DS Tate and she isn’t happy that he didn’t tell her.
Mike phones Lynley to tell him that they found a body; Christine’s. Lynley is in trouble because he bled on Christine when she fixed his hand. Mike has to arrest Lynley. Mike is upset about the position that Lynley takes because he is an Earl.
Since DC Havers contacted DS Tate first, she wants to talk with Mike first. His DNA was a match against the sample found on Justin’s body.
Havers bear the bad news to Conrad. She sees a belt that could match the murder weapon of Christine. When he tries to arrest him, he elbows her in the face. Lafferty said that the DNA was near enough, meaning that a son would be probably right.
Conrad found out that Christine was Julia’s ex. He decides to drive Christine. He has a fight with her in the car because he is about to dump her. Conrad drove into Justin. He killed him.
He called Julia from the phonebooth and killed her when she answered the door. He threw her over the railing and left Thomas’ apartment.
As they arrive downstairs, Lynley arrives and pursues Conrad. He is cornered and arrested.
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