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Helen Kellner has lived a hellish existence and all because of the way she was used and abused by an older man when she was at school. Now they come face to face in a courtroom. She is on trial for murder and he is the Judge. Found to be not guilty he wants to begin their relationship once again but she is determined to resist. An unpleasant detective begins to make noises about this relationship but then finds himself in serious trouble himself for serious offences against women. Meanwhile the judge's daughter has a major catastrophe to deal with: the suicide of a priest on remand having committed sexual offences against young boys.

For Helen just two things matter: reconciliation with her parents and being reunited with the only person she has ever loved and been loved by. The problem is that she is in prison for life in New York. The judge's daughter is seeking love too and falls for the wife of an American rabbi in Manchester.

Living with Emily and their children in the Derbyshire Dales, having abandoned public life, Alex Elliot is searching meaning and purpose. Out of the blue comes an invitation to serve the Parole Board in a High Security Prison in Yorkshire. He has to deal with a Parole Application from someone who has done truly terrible things. He is, however alerted by the prison chaplain to something seriously wrong with life in the prison. For that knowledge the chaplain pays a heavy price.

Alex is provided with help by Kelly, who heads up operations with Revenue and Customs. What they discover is a web of lies and deceit at the very top.

At the same time the application of the prisoner is due to be heard and Alex above all concerns himself with the parents of the victims, but wonders whether anything even they say can be taken at face value. Meanwhile Emily is giving all her attention to another man!

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