Helen West, Crown Prosecutor in domestic violence court, is working up a good case of burnout because justice-by-the-book seldom seems to do the women she represents much good. Helen's love affair with Police Superintendent Geoffrey Bailey also seems to be losing its fire. Then, as if someone has designed a test case for her, Helen learns that humble Cath, her cleaning woman, is being beaten by her husband. Cath has no family - her beautiful brother, Damien, has recently been brutally murdered - so she needs all the help she can get. Helen is willing to give it. But as the truth of Cath's young life, her marriage, and her brother's murder begin to take shape, piece by jagged piece, help and justice seem hard to come by - and may be forever beyond reach.