Detectives John Tolin and Karen Stallwood continue to unravel the mysteries of a deadly six-vehicle pileup outside London.
Survivor Karen Donnelly has apparently committed suicide. But Tolin suspects she was silenced by the international corporation where she worked, which may also be targeting the man who convinced her to steal incriminating corporate documents.
Van driver Danny Rampton is still in hiding — and for good reason, since the police finally learn what he was smuggling from Holland. Alarmed that her connection with Danny will harm her business, his sister-in-law takes his fate into her hands.
As the riddle deepens about why Brian Edwards' mother-in-law died in the accident, Brian makes a startling revelation to his wife.
Richard Reeves intensifies his courtship of Jane Tarrant, the waitress who helped treat him after the accident, by offering to take her to Paris. However a complication arises.
Meanwhile, the man responsible for the death of Tolin's wife and crippling of his daughter a year earlier, is released from prison and has a tense encounter with Tolin. Oddly, it sparks a chain of events leading to the reconciliation of Tolin and his former lover Stallwood.
Finally, the mysteries of Sidney Norris, the man who started the accident, are finally solved, revealing the reason he changed his name, the nature of his clandestine online activity, and the cause of his wild gesticulations just before the crash.
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Warning: Contains significant plot spoilers
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Warning: Contains significant plot spoilers
Detective Inspector John Tolin and Senior Investigating Officer Ann Stallwood continue to unravel the mysteries of a deadly six-car pileup on England's A12 expressway.
The puzzling behavior of van driver Danny Rampton, who fled the scene, is explained when a secret compartment is found in his wrecked van. Inside is the body of a stowaway from east Africa, who Danny had picked up in Holland to smuggle into the UK. Danny's sister-in-law, Sandra Rampton, is fearful that her furniture business, which owned the van, will be ruined if Danny is caught and confesses. Therefore she arranges for the smuggling ringleaders to assassinate him.
Accident survivor Karen Donnelly appears to have committed suicide, but Tolin thinks it's murder. The supposed reporter that she was on her way to meet turns out to be a former employee of her company, posing as a journalist to trick her into handing over information that implicates the company in an international conspiracy. His motive: blackmail. Now on the run from the men he suspects killed Karen, the former employee begs Tolin for protection. Disgusted by this con man who led the idealistic Karen to her doom, Tolin tells him he's on his own.
As police continue to puzzle over Joyce Thompson's fatal injuries, which are inconsistent with the nature of the accident, her son-in-law Brian Edwards confesses to his wife that he impulsively killed her after the crash when she began viciously berating him.
Real estate magnate Richard Reeves, who met waitress Jane Tarrant while being treated after the accident, convinces her to go to Paris with him — a dream-come-true for Jane, who has never left Britain. The implication is that they are leaving their partners to start a new life together. But true to form, Richard jilts her. Undaunted, Jane goes to Paris anyway.
Harry Canwell, the drunk driver responsible for killing Tolin's wife and crippling his daughter, is let out of prison early and appears at Tolin's doorstep to ask forgiveness. Tolin physically attacks him and only relents when his daughter begs him to stop. She later reveals that she knew all about Tolin's affair with Stallwood and bears no grudge for the betrayal of her mother — a revelation that allays the guilt tormenting Tolin and helps him reconcile with Stallwood.
In a pair of developments that shed light on Sidney Norris, the man who caused the accident, Tolin and Stallwood learn that he changed his name from Morris to Norris after he was forced to resign from a private school for alleged indiscretions with male students — charges that were never proven but suggest he may have been involved with child pornography. However, his online friend Ed Wilson clears the air on this score when he announces that he has a confession to make. Tolin and Stallwood listen with barely stifled amusement as Ed solemnly reveals that he and Sidney were, in fact, avid "Trekkies" and that they shared illegally-downloaded Star Trek material.
The last piece of the puzzle falls into place when Stallwood casually watches a buzzing wasp and realizes that the entire tragedy was provoked by a wasp pestering Sidney as he was driving, causing him to veer into the adjacent lane. Indeed, this very wasp was nearly killed by Jane back at the rest stop. How easily things might have turned out differently!