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DCI Alan Banks is called to the Maze, a warren of streets off Eastvale's main drinking district, to investigate the murder of a young woman drinker. Having disappeared down one of the dark passageways after a night of drinking she is found later that morning, raped and murdered inside one of the street's workshops.
Meanwhile, DI Annie Cabot has been seconded to Whitby police and is called to a lonely cliff where a wheelchair bound young woman has had her throat slit. Annie is mystified by the woman's lack of family or past history, the reasons for which soon become clear.
As each detective pushes forward their separate investigations, disturbing similarities become apparent which seemingly revolve around a mysterious woman who was a victim of a violent assault eighteen years before...