In the middle of a rainy Swedish summer, a little girl is abducted from a crowded train. Her distraught mother was left behind at the previous station in what seemed to be a coincidence. The train crew was alerted and kept a watchful eye on the sleeping child. But when the train pulled into Stockholm Central Station, the little girl had vanished. Inspector Alex Recht, assisted by the investigative analyst Fredrika Bergman, are assigned to what at first appears to be a classic custody fight. But when the child is found dead in the far north of Sweden with the word 'unwanted' scribbled on her forehead, the case soon turns into the investigation team's worst nightmare - the pursuit of a brilliant and ruthless killer.