It's early May when a young family out on a forest walk stumble upon a heavily mutliated body. The female corpse is in eerily good condition, and signs of torture are all too visible. Inspector Malin Fors immediately draws parallels between this case and that of Maria Murvall, the young woman who was found raped and brutally beaten in the forest several years ago. Maria has been living as a mute in the local psychiatric hospital ever since the attack, and Malin is haunted by her inability to help her. In the course of her investigation, Malin meets with a psychologist who tells her about another similar case, and suddenly Maria appears to be a small piece of a much bigger puzzle. But what is it that is so terrible it can't be put into words? Malin is determined to find out the truth, no matter where it might take her.