The police are reluctant to believe young Lucy Paige when she tells them that she saw two men chasing a woman across a field. They suspect her of inventing a mysterious stranger, who hit her, and then ran away, in order to protect her friend Martin, from accusations of child abuse and assault. But they have to reassess her story, when a woman's body is found a few days later, and Lucy recognizes it as her attacker. Who is the corpse in the graveyard? Why was she running away? And who were the men that Lucy saw chasing her?
Lucy, meanwhile, is more concerned about her police inspector friend, Jonah Porter and his rehabilitation, after being paralyzed in a shooting incident. He seems to be falling into a pit of depression - until her tale of a vanishing stranger with a distinctive tattoo catches his imagination, and inspires him to do some armchair detective work of his own.