A top research scientist is blown up in his car having arrived in Glasgow to address a medical conference. There has been opposition to his research and initially, this is where the investigation heads. However, it soon comes to light that there are others within the scientific community who could benefit from the murder.
A Kurdish taxi driver is murdered and the team is joined by D.S. Fairchild, who is experienced in the matter of racially-motivated crimes. Whilst the rest of the team get on well with her, Burke is peeved as he believes that political correctness is hampering the course of the enquiry, particularly in view of the fact that noone seems any closer to establishing a motive for the killing.
When an anonymous victim is shot dead in a local park the only clue on him as to his identity is a library card for a city college. This in turn leads to a half-way house for recently released criminals, some of whom are known to the team. Unfortunately the hostel warden is not keen to cooperate.
When a doctor at a clinic for women which advocates birth control is murdered the immediate suspects are a militant fundamentalist group who oppose abortions. However, drug links between the clinic and a local crime boss extend the scope of the investigation further, though Stuart believes the murderer may have had a more personal reason.
Billy McCree is murdered in his work-shop and his severed hand is found next to him. The obvious suspect is Jim Naysmith, just out of jail after a twenty year stretch, thanks to Billy's evidence. Burke investigates the Naysmith gang whilst Robbie is flattered when Mary, a young law student, asks to shadow him. Forensics office Gemma, however, believes that Mary may have an ulterior motive for her interest in Robbie.