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n San Francisco, police Inspectors Hildy Mulligan and Terry English investigate the murder of 50 year-old Kevin Neyers who is found in the cheap hotel where he lived, shot in the head. Two young boys say they saw a junkie there with a bird tattoo on his neck. The police also find a threatening email addressed to high tech entrepreneur Erich Blunt, CEO of Applsn, demanding $50,000 or Neyers will "go public". Blunt denies ever having seen the email or knowing Neyers. The police however contact the parents of Neyers' old girlfriend, who died of a drug overdose some 22 years ago, and learn there is definitely a connection between Neyers and Blunt. Meanwhile, Blunt is dealing with a major lawsuit that accuses him of stealing someone's computer code. Both Hildy and Terry have complicated lives. Hildy is a divorced mom raising her daughter Louise. Terry's wife Emily has stage 4 pancreatic cancer and he is having trouble letting her go.

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