As the police search for Marley and Reese, the early morning interstate bus arrives in Patterson bringing trouble in two forms — Larry Dime, convicted paedophile and Marley's uncle who has been released on parole after 10 years in gaol; and Georgia Clarke, a teenager who has seen the news and recognised Reese as her boyfriend Simon, who went missing two years earlier.
At the same time, Detective Jay Swan and Sergeant Emma James are finding it hard to put their differences aside. Emma is finding it difficult working with Jay — who doesn't tell her anything about where his inquiries are taking him. The investigation leads them back to Emma's family station where they discover that Marley and Reese checked out a work rifle but never returned it. Is Emma's brother Tony merely careless with his workers and guns… or is he hiding something? Jay discovers Tony wants to put Ballantyne station up for sale, but Emma doesn't want to part with her family property.
Jay digs further and finds Reese had told his girlfriend Shevorne something was going on with the water at the station. Jay goes out alone to investigate. He finds that although the station is supposed to have an unlimited supply of water, the bore's lines and troughs are empty. For Jay it's more confirmation that he can't trust anyone, especially Emma, as he thinks she's either hiding or ignoring the deep underbelly of Patterson that's beginning to surface.
Meanwhile Emma is shocked to find Larry has returned to town and is finding himself a physical target from angry townspeople who don't want him back. But there is one major clue that reveals itself. Larry's prison visitor logs show only one person called on Larry in the last 10 years… it was Marley one week before he went missing. Despite Jay's pleas to the 'good' man of old, Larry refuses to reveal why Marley visited him or what they discussed, leaving Jay and Emma back at square one. When Emma realises Jay is investigating behind her back, she tries to get him re- assigned but to no avail.
Under pressure from the police, Shevorne is living in fear due to Larry's return. Unaware that Georgia is stalking her believing that Shevorne has stolen ‘her' boyfriend Reese (aka Simon), she is followed on her walk home after a late shift. Hearing someone breaking into the house, Shevorne freezes in terror and manages to phone Emma… but can she get there in time?