Just as DCI Banham and DI Alison Grainger are about to get married, the previous night of street rioting culminates in a policeman being shot and all officers are urgently called to the scene. Banham, a trained hostage negotiator, rushes to the street when he hears his friend, PC Martin Neville, has been shot and taken hostage, along with WPC Hannah Kemp and three civilians. As Banham tries to negotiate, things go from dangerous to critical. PC Neville is in a life-threatening condition, and the clock is ticking to get him to hospital.
Meanwhile Grainger, having been left at the altar, defies orders and is at the station working on the case from the CCTV room. When the pieces begin to fall together, she finds herself in a life-threatening situation. Time is nearly up, and the demands of the hostage-takers are yet to be met. Banham and the hostages' lives are at risk. And, by a very unexpected turn in circumstance, their fate is now in someone else's hands.
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