A white car is parked by a side road in the beautiful landscape of Scania in southern Sweden. A child sits alone without an adult in sight. The child's father has been reported as missing, while the mother is in a psychiatric institution, unresponsive and apathetic.
Kurt Wallander's failing health sees Linda take the lead in the case. It will touch her deeply as she discovers that the child has been unscrupulously tricked, exploited and humiliated.
Linda has never been so committed to solving a case. She has her boyfriend and colleague Stefan Lindman to help her, but even Kurt is drawn in, unknowingly and against his will.