hysiotherapist Lizzie Faulkner is shot dead whilst on a spa weekend in the country. Local lad Robert Doran was shooting badgers in the area but his bullets do not match the murder weapon. Joe nonetheless feels guilty upon meeting him as, eight years earlier, Joe had arrested Robert, who was imprisoned, Joe later believing he was innocent. Lizzie's weekend was a present from architect Corinne Franks though her husband Andrew and business partner Tim Hopkins refuse to believe the death was the result of local opposition to building a holiday village in the area. When Corinne is killed in a hit and run Vera realizes that she had been the intended victim all along and visits Justin Bishop, whose wife had died in a road crash some months earlier. Corinne had been the other driver and, though the coroner exonerated her from blame, Justin disagreed. Vera is intrigued to learn that Justin's schoolboy son Sam had been friends with Corinne behind his father's back and that she had bought him presents. Sam tells Vera Corinne had somebody else with her in the car on the day of the crash and this, coupled with Robert's description of a car he heard when Lizzie was murdered, leads Vera to the culprit.

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