Phil Gaines is a bitter, cynical cop who investigates the case of a dead stripper/porno actress found on the beach. Gaines is experiencing a troubled relationship with a hooker, and things don’t get any better when the dead girl’s father launches his own investigation.
A police officer is murdered with a bayonet while staying in hospital. The investigative team, lead by Martin Beck, soon discover that the man had frequently abused suspects as well as civilians but that any complaints had been ignored owing to the misguided loyalty of his colleagues. The volatile mind of the killer means that Beck has to resolve the case quickly before more people are hurt.