The police have a murder investigation on their hands when body parts and medical waste are found in a local lake. The waste is traced to Wetherton Royal Infirmary and Dalziel focuses on a missing nurse, Leanne Proctor. She had recently leaked information to a local newspaper about a waiting list scam at the hospital. The hospital itself is under threat of closure with staff taking sides on the issue and with a local contractor hoping to profit from building a new private hospital. Throughout this time, Peter Pascoe is himself a patient at the WRI's neurological ward following a severe accident during a police chase. He becomes quite attracted to one of the nurses, Shannon Hayes.