Hours later, a student is found dead after suffering a drug overdose, and the university must face the wrath of the girl's father, a major benefactor.
When Leo performs the autopsy, it reveals that not only had she taken drugs, but also that she had sexual relations with three different men in the last 48 hours. Paul Wroblewski. Sam investigates when police probation officer Jason Villers is found murdered on a landfill site, after being tied up and being burnt across the back. The police soon establish a link between Villiers' murder and the murder of student Michael Haughty, who was found murdered in the same place just months before.
With no link between the two killings, the police come to believe that they may have a serial killer on their hands. When a second police probationer officer is found dead, Sam concludes that they may be dealing with a copycat killer, rather than a serial killer. The police begin to believe that a fellow probation officer may have been responsible for the murders, however, it appears that the commandant, whose son is a trainee student, is covering up the deaths to keep the reputation of the college protected. In a separate case, Harry is approached by the wife of an old university friend who asks him to perform a post-mortem on her husband, who supposedly died in a fall.
However, he finds that the man was injecting himself with drugs regularly and that his wife was the one who was prescribing them to him. Dusty Hughes.
When a suspected terrorist attack causes an explosion at a hotel, the death of a highly respected government minister appears to be the key to the motive behind the attack. However, Sam soon discovers that an old acquaintance of hers was also at the scene, and as she delves deeper into the case, has to deal with her attempted rape, which occurred earlier that evening. Determined to get to the bottom of the minister's death, she conducts a second autopsy, but her findings are soon undermined by an independent pathologist, who appears to have a stronger link to the case than meets the eye.
To make matters worse, the investigation team threaten to strike Sam off if she supports a dead woman's family at an inquest. Sam comes under intense scrutiny during an official inquiry into the deaths of two brothers while they were in prison. Her findings are soon challenged by Leo, who is brought in by the Crown to perform a second autopsy. Meanwhile, a series of murders that are taking place cast suspicion heavily on a suspect who has recently been released from prison.
Sam soon comes to believe that someone is stalking her, and the police have trouble locating the ex-convict. When a sports agent is found dead, the police suspect suicide. However, Sam is not convinced, and when the post-mortem reveals that she was in the early stages of pregnancy, and that she had severe bruising to her arms, signs of a sexual assault appear to convince Sam otherwise. Matters are complicated further, however, when a client that she was having an affair with is also found dead.
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Tests reveal the father of her baby is Caucasian, which rule out her client, but appears to implicate her husband for the murder, despite his alibi. However, Sam is soon sidelined from the investigation following a disagreement with DI Jayne Hurst, and Harry's efforts to determine the time of death prove unreliable. Sam, Leo and Harry are alarmed when the home office assign them to re-examine the work of independent pathologist Peter Sachs.
Although Sam and Leo suspect Sachs is acting suspiciously, Harry refuses to believe that he is in the wrong. Sam discovers that Sachs has been using a new method of determining time of death, and against her better judgement, uses Sachs in order to provide evidence to determine the time of death of Eddie Doyle, who was murdered due to being a witness to Craig Proctor's murder. When the bodies of two men are exposed during a landslide in Ireland, Sam is forced to make a long overdue painful journey home.
The subsequent investigation suggests the pair died during the sectarian violence of the s. However, a secret closer to home soon comes to light. The investigation reveals evidence of RUC corruption, and Sam is soon startled when the evidence points to the involvement of a member of her own family.
As the police pull out all the stops to track down the killers, Sam makes an announcement that stuns her colleagues. Leo and Harry's professional rivalry erupts following Sam's departure.
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They find themselves dealing with the case of several children living on the coast who have experienced unexplained breathing difficulties, leaving one boy, Paul, dead. While Harry believes that the case is simply nothing more than mass hysteria, Leo suspects something more sinister. Meanwhile, a man, Nick Garner, is found dead in his car with a stab wound to the chest.
When a link between the stab victim and the ill children begins to emerge, Leo becomes determined to discover who is responsible before any more fatalities occur. However, it may be too late, as a baby, Ella, dies after being refused hospital care. Harry discovers the truth behind Nick Garner's death, and Leo realises that a boatyard may hold the key to the children's symptoms.
Richard Holland. After being promoted into the Professor's position, Leo is surprised to be united with Dr.
Nikki Alexander. Nikki, a pathologist whose expertise lies in solving Iron Age mysteries with modern day techniques, finds herself covering new ground when she ends up bringing her expertise to bear on a modern murder. The case in question is the death of a jockey crushed by his mount during a race.
Harry and Leo suspect it was simply an accident.
However, when two of the horses' owners are killed in a helicopter crash, evidence emerges that both the horse and the pilot were drugged. Harry and Leo suspect syndicate member Matt Gibb was responsible for the deaths of his co-owners and the jockey, and Nikki's skills help expose the cracks in his story. Gibb confesses to drugging the horse but denies any involvement in the helicopter crash, leaving the pathologists divided over whether to believe him.
Douglas Mackinnon. The team are approached by the survivors of a major train crash, which resulted in the death of twenty-one people. Looking for answers as to who and what caused the crash, they ask Leo, Nikki and Harry to attempt to identify 'Body 21', one of the twenty-one victims who has yet to have been named.
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However, determined to investigate the actual cause of the crash by using backdoor methods, Leo begins to uncover a tangled web of lies. He begins to suspect that Army Major Mark Wiltshire is involved, after his stolen Landrover is what is known to be the cause of the crash, but an alibi places him in the mess hall at the time of the incident. Working with the survivor's group, the team attempt to re-create the layout of the train prior to the crash occurring.
The investigation delves deeper when one of the surviving passengers commits suicide.
Harry and Leo soon discover that the identification of the last victim could lead to revealing the cause of the crash, and that the solution lies on discovering an unknown romantic affair and a marital betrayal. Meanwhile, Nikki is called out to a river when the bodies of two unidentified women are discovered, both shot in an execution-style. Upon his arrival in Sheffield, Leo is greeted with awful news and, haunted by the deaths of his wife and daughter, he goes on a quest to find the man responsible.
Harry and Nikki attempt to counsel him as the police infiltrate a gang of identity fraudsters, but when he finally catches up with the enemy, he faces a difficult choice between exacting revenge or following legal procedures. The team are called to the scene of a drive-by shooting, where they are joined by detectives from Operation Trident investigating a turf war between drug gangs. The case proves less clear-cut than expected when evidence emerges that someone returned fire.
With a second shoot-out imminent, the team face a race against time to track down the elusive gunsmith before he can arm both factions for the confrontation. Harry follows up a lead, but finds himself in a dangerous situation, and Nikki continues to investigate Lisa's death. The team pursue a serial killer with a grisly desire to look at his victims' faces as they die, and the trail leads into the world of academic philosophy.
However, Nikki is distracted from the case by the death of her grandmother, while Harry investigates the demise of a woman who apparently drowned in three inches of water. Meanwhile, Harry delves into the death of the drowning victim, discovering that her demise was the result of a cruel twist of fate. Leo is called to investigate the suicide of Kevin Perry, a mental patient from the January House private care home, who has recently been released after his course of treatment ended. Fellow patient David Nicholson is also on the warpath, stabbing three innocent victims in his latest psychotic episode, killing two, before he is captured by police.
Meanwhile, Harry is tasked with investigating the suspected suicide of seventeen-year-old Nazim Theara, who reportedly jumped in front of a train for no apparent reason. When the doctor treating both Perry and Nicholson, Dr. Sanders, fails to explain why the pair carried out such actions, Nikki and Leo are forced to dig deeper, and discover that someone has been tampering with the patient's medication. But when the doctor in question decides to attempt suicide, Nikki becomes convinced that he was the one responsible, causing their conditions to remain uncontrollable.
As Harry continues his investigation, against the girl's adamant mother, who is positive she did not kill herself, he discovers that the girl had taken the same cocktail of anti-depressants taken by suicide victim Kevin Perry - and the lead soon becomes linked to a dodgy online pharmacy. Four bodies are found in the Thames after a boat full of illegal immigrants founders. Realising they are dealing with a people-trafficking operation gone disastrously wrong, Leo, Harry and Nikki set out to discover if there are any survivors - or any other deaths - while also delving into the victims' past.
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The team soon manages to identify the four bodies and discover two of them were a couple fleeing China because they wished to have a second child. Nikki realises their six-year-old daughter was also on the boat and may still be alive. Meanwhile, the detectives close in on the gang running the people-trafficking operation. The team members find themselves under pressure whilst working a number of parallel cases.
Harry is called out to a council estate in which a sixteen-year-old boy has been killed in a hit-and-run, Leo investigates the cause of a fire that left a housewife dead and Nikki is called out when a bride-to-be collapses and dies on her hen night. Harry discovers that the car that killed the young boy has a custom paint job, linked to only a small number of cars in the country - but before he can inform the investigating officer, she is killed after being hit by a bus.
Meanwhile, Nikki assists the detective looking into the house fire in a separate case in which an office prank has proved fatal, Leo investigates the death of a dentist whose body was found on a night bus and Harry discovers a link between the apparent suicide of a high-profile footballer and the death of the young boy. Harry's burgeoning relationship with Nikki is jeopardised when his ex-girlfriend Penny is killed in a car crash. It looks like suicide at first glance, but DCI Lauren Ambrose uncovers evidence that the victim may have had an affair - as well as a secret child. Meanwhile, Leo examines the staged death of a conceptual artist, Jimmy Triangle.
With Harry determined to find Penny's killer, he and Nikki are pushed further apart when he forces her to re-examine Penny's body.