A small-time drug dealer is found battered to death on the outskirts of the Norwegian capital, Oslo. A young Dutchman, walking aimlessly in central Oslo covered in blood, is taken into custody but refuses to talk. When he is informed that the woman who discovered the body, Karen Borg, is a lawyer, he demands her as his defender, although her specialty is civil, not criminal, law. The young man is adamant: he will speak to Karen Borg, and to her alone. A couple of days later, Hans E. Olsen, a lawyer of the shadiest kind, is found shot to death. Very soon, police officers Håkon Sand and Hanne Wilhelmsen establish a link between the two killings. They also find a coded message hidden in the murdered lawyer’s apartment. Their maverick colleague in the drug squad, Billy T., reports that a recent rumor in the underworld involves lawyers employed in drug dealing. Now the reason the young Dutchman insisted on having Karen Borg as a defender dawns on them: since she was the one to find and report the body, she is the only Oslo lawyer that cannot by any means be implicated in the crime. As the officers investigate, they uncover a massive network of corruption involving the highest levels of government.
As their lives are threatened, Hanne and her colleagues must find the killer and, in the process, bring the lies and deception out into the open.