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The main protagonist is Ray Lennox; a Detective Inspector with the Lothian and Borders Police who attempts to recover from a mental breakdown induced by stress, cocaine and alcohol abuse and a child murder case in Edinburgh in which he was the lead investigating officer by taking a holiday in Florida with his fiancée, Trudi. The pair meet up with Eddie 'Ginger' Rodgers, one of Lennox's retired former colleagues, and his wife Delores, and they all drink into the early hours of the morning. The next morning Lennox finds himself craving more alcohol and goes to a bar with Trudi where they have an argument which causes Trudi to angrily leave the bar. Lennox continues drinking heavily. Soon afterwards he meets two women, Starry and Robyn, in a different bar and they all go back Robyn's apartment where they drink more alcohol and take cocaine. They are soon joined by two men, Lance Dearing and Johnnie, and a fight breaks out a short time later when Lennox sees Johnnie is sexually assaulting Tianna, Robyn's ten-year-old daughter. Lennox incapacitates Johnnie and struggles with Dearing who ultimately leaves the apartment with everyone except Lennox and Tianna, who have locked themselves in a bathroom.
The next morning, Lennox wakes in the bathroom and receives a telephone call from Robyn, who urges him to take Tianna to a man called Chet Lewis in Bologna before the call is interrupted by Dearing who tries unsuccessfully to pacify Lennox. Lennox instead leaves the apartment with Tianna and travels to a local police station where he is shocked to find Dearing is in police uniform and is working on the reception desk. Lennox flees with Tianna and hires a car to take her to Chet as Robyn instructed.
Lennox takes her across the state to an exclusive marina where he walks right into a hornets' nest of paedophiles, just like the one that had haunted him on a similar case in Edinburgh. Now he must protect the girl from them at all costs.
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