Jack Taylor, traumatised, bitter and hurting from his last case, has resolved to give up the finding business. However, he owes the local hard man a debt of honour and it appears easy enough: find "the Angel of the Magdalen" – a woman who helped the unfortunates incarcerated in the infamous laundry.
He is also hired by a whizz kid to prove that his father’s death was no accident. Jack treats both cases as relatively simple affairs. He becomes involved with a woman who might literally be the death of him, runs dangerously foul of the cops. He is finally clean and sober but the unfolding events will not only shake his sobriety but bring him as close to death as could ever have imagined