Tasha, a rebellious teenager, runs away from a threatening family situation. Arriving in London she meets Ann Swinton, a well-off woman who, with her husband, Steven, helps runaway and homeless children. Eighteen months later Ann is brutally murdered at her home while her husband is away on a fishing trip. Police suspicion falls on Steven and a few days later he is found dead in his car, having supposedly committed suicide. But Tasha’s life has become entangled with other young runaways, an Italian hotel waiter, several Ukrainian prostitutes and their pimp, Giorgio, who Tasha meets soon after her arrival. All struggle to forge a living at the margins of London’s multi-national society.
When Tasha seeks refuge with Giorgio she accidentally uncovers the operations of a vicious gang who are kidnapping runaways like herself. When they discover that Tasha has reported their activities to Ann Swinton their lives are placed in imminent danger. Indeed, Tasha only narrowly avoids death after escaping from her locked room. When DI Tariq Hassan and his new colleague DS Sue Bridges are assigned the formidable task of tracking this gang down they desperately need Tasha’s help. But is she still alive and where is she hiding?