A thrilling crime drama exploring the personal and professional lives of two female detectives.
A vulnerable young man is reported missing by his pub landlord boss. Syndicate 9 suspect Robin McKendrick may have been killed after a photo of him bound and gagged in a car boot appears online. However, the case takes an unusual turn when a body found in a flooded quarry turns out to be a woman's corpse. Meanwhile, battle-scarred from their conflict last year, Scott and Bailey are determined to move forward with honesty. The pair find themselves in front of the promotion board and pass with flying colours, leaving Gill with the task of choosing who stays on as sergeant at the department.
Syndicate 9's new sergeant is thrown in at the deep end with a historical missing person's case as Mandy Sweeting's body is discovered, 23 years after she disappeared. The biggest challenge is wading through poor police work that hampered the original case and re-interviewing bruised and bereft family members, making this a particularly challenging job for the new sergeant. Janet keeps Gill's secret but shares another secret with Rachel - she wants a boyfriend.
After promising that the chaos of her personal life was behind her, Rachel is torn when she discovers that her mother's new boyfriend is a violent domestic abuser. Janet goes on her first date, but gets cold feet at the last minute when the idea of having to sell herself to a stranger makes her heart sink. The murder of a gay man has all the markings of a hate crime, but why is his friend struggling to answer some simple questions?
Gill introduces her new sergeant to Will Pemberton, an ambitious detective superintendent on his way to the top. However, Rachel and Will have been enjoying a passionate yet discreet affair for the past few months. Will wants to go public but Rachel would prefer to keep it quiet, worried about how others might judge her. Inspired by Eleanor's happy home life, Janet determines to persevere with the dating game. But a speed dating evening proves a disaster when she realises she is unable to step out of character, and has been interviewing every man there as if he was a suspect. The case of the week involves the murder of a woman in a Manchester hotel. With only a necklace and the name Lola to go on, Syndicate 9 try to piece together her last known movements. When a witness comes forward to report a troubling sexual encounter, it seems that a hook-up site could hold the answers.
Unable to get over being second choice for the sergeant's job, Rachel punishes Janet for not telling her. After Elise moves in with Ade, Janet feels inadequate as a mother although she has not given up on the idea of a boyfriend entirely. When an unconscious baby is admitted to hospital, staff are concerned that his injuries do not match his parents' explanation. But with a child-minder and her stoned boyfriend in the mix, it is unclear who had the baby's best interests at heart.
Troubled by Gill's comments about her relationship with Will Pemberton, Rachel gets cold feet about accompanying him to an awards ceremony. When Janet discovers that Elise's heart is being broken by Eleanor's son, her maternal instincts make her want to rescue her daughter and bring her home. When a couple are shot at close range in their pub in the early hours, their son Simon feels utterly alone, having lost his sister Carla when he was three. But when his aunt is identifying the bodies, she tells them that Carla did not die, but was disowned by the family after failed attempts at rehab.
Janet is unnerved to discover that DSI Dodson cannot ignore her concerns about Gill's drinking. Just as Rachel feels as if she is getting to grips with the job, she makes a fatal error that puts Janet and Chris in danger. When a man's body is found wedged between rocks on the moors with nothing to identify him, a road block is set up and an appeal put out. Enquiries lead Janet and Chris to a nearby farm, but they discover something much more sinister and shocking than they could ever have anticipated.
The discovery of slaves on the Pritchard farm has turned a murder inquiry into a huge, multi-agency investigation. Under investigation for the crash, a devastated Janet finds solace in Chris's calm reasoning. When an incandescent Evie Pritchard smells alcohol on DCI Gill Murray's breath, she has all the ammunition she needs to discredit both the investigation and Gill. But Scott and Bailey are determined to get Gill through to retirement with her reputation intact.