Annika Bengtzon is back at Kvällspressen's Stockholm offices after three years as the newspaper's Washington, DC correspondent. One afternoon, a young woman is found dead behind a nursery school in a Stockholm suburb. She is the fourth victim with the same characteristics: a young mother, stabbed from behind. In the editorial offices of Kvällspressen they sense a serial killer, but Annika dismisses it as a wild fantasy. Meanwhile, her husband Thomas is attending an international conference in Nairobi, Kenya. During a reconnaissance trip to the Somali border the entire delegation of seven European envoys is kidnapped. As the murder spree in Stockholm continues, Annika is dragged into a violent hostage situation that shakes both Europe and East Africa. When their unreasonable demands are rejected, the kidnappers begin to execute the hostages, one by one.