Mal is still angry with Quirke for revealing Phoebe's true paternity and blames him for her quitting medical school to work in a hat shop. Here she meets louche Leslie White, manager of the Silver Swan beauty salon who is having an affair with Deirdre, wife of pharmaceutical rep Billy Hunt, a former student of Quirke. Deirdre is addicted to tranquillizers in return for which she agrees to pose for nude photos which White uses to blackmail her. At the same time Quirke deals with the suicide of housewife Geraldine Millican, who like Deirdre posed nude to get her tablets. After Quirke has failed to warn Phoebe about White he persuades Garret to take drastic action, revealing White's true nature to Phoebe. Several deaths follow, which Quirke is able to help solve but he is unprepared for sad news about Sarah, with whom he had been having an affair.