In the middle of a concert, well-known violinist Gideon Martin appears to have a nervous breakdown and rushes off stage, just after the chords of a Dvorak piece are struck. He locks himself inside the greenroom, and it is hours before his father, Richard, and manager, Raphael, manage to coax him out. In the meantime, a woman called Eugenie Martin - Gideon's mother and Richard's ex-wife - is run over repeatedly on her way to meet a man called James Pitchley.
Lynley and Havers are at DSI Webberley's wedding anniversary, when DS David Leach, the officer who first reached the scene of the murder, arrives to inform Webberley of the incident. Webberley assigns Lynley to the case, and Lynley manages to get Havers on it as well. As they investigate, they sense that Eugenie's murder is connected with another murder 20 years ago - when Sophie Martin, Eugenie's Down Syndrome daughter and Gideon's sister - was drowned in her bath, allegedly by her nurse Katja Wolff. However, there is pressure from within the Police department to not refer back to this case. Files go missing - and when DS Leach smuggles a parcel away from the victim's house, Webberley tells Lynley to turn a blind eye to it.
Lynley is finding it more and more difficult to cope with the pressure from all around - the skewed investigation, his wife's pregnancy, but above all, the prospect of Havers resigning within the month. He begins a countdown to the days he has left in the force with Havers. In the meantime, Eugenie's murderer isn't happy that the secret lies dead with her. There are more lives in danger.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the novel, Raphael is described as being bald, copiously sweaty, nervous and appallingly unattractive. In the adaptation, his looks are decidedly more average.
- Adaptation Distillation: The original 1000-page novel had to be condensed into a 90-minute programming block, so many of the characters were altered, if not cut altogether. The culprit is changed from Richard to Raphael because of the sheer amount of material that had to go.
- Affably Evil: Raphael.
- Blessed with Suck: Gideon's musical genius doesn't bring anything but trouble, owing to his family's view that the most important thing is to enable Gideon's music to thrive, no matter what the cost. To list the costs: his parents' marriage broke up from money strains; he killed his sister to get the money to fund his education; Katja Wolff took the heat for the murder, and Raphael decided to kill anyone who could interfere with Gideon's musical ability.
- Child Prodigy: Evidently, Gideon Martin was one. He was also something of an Evil Genius, given how carefully and, well, brilliantly, he planned his sisters murder.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Honestly, what kind of murderer finds it convenient to kill the victim by running her over, reversing over her, and then accelerating over her again? One would think the murderer would choose some easier way to topple off the other two victims.
- Destroy the Evidence: In the end, Lynley and Havers choose to burn the love letters to Eugenie Martin that DSI Webberley and DS Leach had been trying to conceal.
- Friendship Moment: The episode is simply full of these:
- Lynley's repeated countdown of the number of days he has left with Havers.
- Lynley's admission to Havers that he will miss her if she resigns. Given his general reluctance to express what he feels, that is significant.
- Finally, Havers stopping Lynley to show that she is destroying her resignation letter.
- It's All About Me: Or, more accurately, it's all about me because I am a musical genius and no one else is. That seems to be the attitude nurtured into Gideon from a very young age.
- Lawman Gone Bad: DSI Webberley and DS Leach are clearly protecting some Big Secret, and are prepared to hide evidence, remove past files and pressurise Lynley into arresting a suspect to make sure that it stays a secret. The secret is that years ago, Webberly had an affair with Eugenie Martin, which Leach, his partner, knew about and helped to cover up.
- Love Makes You Evil: Raphael.
- Mind-Control Music: At the end, Lynley uses this to fight down memory lane and uncover the truth.
- Miscarriage of Justice: Katja Wolff was convicted on the basis of a False Confession to a crime.
- Repressed Memories: Clearly, Dvorak triggers unpleasant memories in Gideons mind of the night his sister was murdered - something that he has convinced himself he has forgotten - namely, that he killed his baby sister to ensure that his parents would have the money to send him to his desired music school.
- Subordinate Excuse: Once again, Lynley doesn't hesitate to do whatever he must to get Barbara back to his side.
- Suspect Existence Failure: Lynley and Havers were almost certain that it was ex-husband Richard who killed Eugenie Martin, until he is murdered in the same way.
- the best part? in the original novel, Richard was the killer - it was switched to Raphael due to Adaptation Distillation (see above), so they weren't actually that far off.
- Undying Loyalty: Lynley's to Havers is a running theme of this episode. Barbara's Et Tu, Brute? comes back to bite her when she finds out the full truth of her demotion: Lynley was responsible for keeping her on the force. If he hadn't stood up for her, she'd have been sacked.Lynley: No, see, that's the bit I think you've got wrong. I think [Webberley's] counting on my loyalty to you.
- Much in the same way, Leach has this towards Webberly, suggesting that many years ago, they weren't very different from Lynley and Havers.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: The sexual tension between Lynley and Havers in the final scene would have needed an Absurdly Sharp Blade to cut through.
- Vomiting Cop: The viewer may have been spared a shot of Eugenie Martin's bloodied corpse, but just to give us an indication about how bad it is, we have WPC Mason turning green and rushing off screen once the body bag is unzipped.