A prominent Danish gender campaigner is found dead in Malmo, meaning that Swedish detective Saga Noren must once again collaborate with a counterpart in the Danish police as she investigates. With Martin Rohde now in gaol for murder, Saga is assigned a new colleague in Copenhagen, but the pair’s working relationship fails to get off to a good start, a fact only exacerbated by Saga’s role in getting well-liked Danish cop Martin sent down.
Malmo detective Saga and her Copenhagen colleague Hanne must put aside their differences to catch the perpetrator of the so-called ‘Clown Murders’. A prime suspect arrives in the form of the first victim’s apparently traumatised son, who has gone on the run. Meanwhile, Saga is distracted from her investigation by the untimely arrival of her mother, who insists on showing her a medical file that she hopes will put an end to their estrangement.
The Malmo police receive a ransom video from Hans’ kidnapper, and Saga is placed under further strain when her mother turns up at the station unexpectedly. The pair’s family spat is quickly interrupted when Henrik announces that victim Helle Anker’s car has been located, and the subsequent chain of evidence leads to a gruesome discovery at an amusement park.
Rikard Jonsson escapes after violently assaulting another victim, and Saga believes Lise Friis Anderson might be his next target. However, when police visit her house, they discover Rikard has taken a hostage. Meanwhile, Jeanette picks up a bag at Malmo railway station, as requested, but quickly finds herself at the mercy of two thugs who take her cargo for themselves.
Saga and Henrik interview the estranged sister of the latest victim, a teacher who had been on the receiving end of complaints from his pupils. Lillian discovers an unusual injury on the inside of a hospitalised Hans’ cheek, and Claus encounters Anneka while attending the Freddie Holst’s gallery opening.
A young art curator approaches Henrik and Saga, claiming to have spotted a connection between the murders of Helle Anker and Lars-Ove Abrahamsson, and the assault on Hans. While the detectives remain sceptical about his suggestions, they interview Freddie Holst with this new theory in mind. However, the case takes another gruesome turn when another victim is found with similar mutilations.
Burglars become entangled in the hunt for the killer when they unwittingly uncover two new victims. Henrik immediately realises the state of the bodies reflects another Freddie Holst art work – Cancel Christmas. The murdered pair were foster carers, and while Saga and Henrik await the arrival of a list of their charges, John’s new girlfriend Tina provides an intriguing new lead.
Emil Larsson is found injured and dazed, prompting police to reconsider his status as a suspect. Following leads he gives them from his hospital bed, Saga, Henrik and John locate the property in which he was held captive, and discover it is owned by another of the Johansson’s foster children. Meanwhile, the internal affairs investigation into the death of Saga’s mother continues, placing the detective under further pressure.
The captive Jeanette gives birth, and Freddie manages to locate her using a tracking device, but fails to arrive in time to find his missing baby. With resources now too scarce to adequately follow-up on the development, Saga is brought back from suspension to investigate a tip-off that Claes Sandberg is behind the abduction.
Rasmus discovers Freddie’s abandoned helicopter in a disused concrete factory, and anxiously awaits the arrival of back-up.