Three elderly men, Holger Eriksson, Gosta Runfeldt and Eugen Blomberg, are murdered in seemingly unrelated incidents. The smell of perfume on Runfeldt's suitcase suggests a woman's involvement. None are mourned by their families, who regarded them as bullies and womanizers, which shocks Wallander, whose own father has just died. A dedication in a book by Eriksson to a woman called Krista leads to the members of a former self-help group for abused women, attended by Vanja, Runfeldt's ex-lover. Is one of these women the killer?