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In a Glasgow post office one week before Christmas, Martin Pavel cowers on the floor, his eyes locked on those of a terrified child. Above them, a masked gunman wields an AK-47 while the boy's grandfather calmly volunteers to help the robber gather the money. Then the old man stands passively, hands by his sides, as the gunman raises the barrel and shoots him to shreds.
Recently returned to work after the birth of her twins, detective Alex Morrow is called in to head the investigation. Why did the grandfather offer his help? Was it a moment of madness, a noble act of self-sacrifice, or did the old man and his killer share a dark past?
Morrow's enquiries bring her to the door of Kenny Gallagher, a politician fighting for his political life - and his marriage - after being publicly accused of having an affair with a young employee. And unknown to Morrow, a temptation too great to resist leads two of her detective colleagues to make a rash decision that will leave them at the mercy of a ruthless blackmailer.