Set in contemporary London with a British Metropolitan Police Officer at its heart, Marcella is Scandinavian noir on the streets of Britain. Told with Rosenfeldt's unflinchingly clear Nordic style, full of hooks and action, The series will lead the audience through a narrative maze until the final moments of the drama. Marcella will also delve into the psychology of a single female detective working solo on a serial murder case with many potential suspects and victims.
Returning to the Met's Murder Squad after a 12-year career break, Marcella Backland is a detective in her late 30's who gave up her fast-tracked role to marry and devote her life to starting a family. With the abrupt end to her marriage to the love of her life Jason and isolated from her daughter at boarding school, Marcella returns to work whilst attempting to make sense of what's happened in her life.
Five months after the events of the last series, DS Marcella Backland is called to a house where a workman has drilled through a wall and discovered an ear. When the wall is taken down, Marcella is horrified to discover that the ear belonged to Leo Priestley, a 7-year old boy who's been missing for four years and who knew her son. Leo was meant to walk home with Edward, Marcella's son on the day he went missing.
Leo's discovery puts Marcella in confrontation with a previously convicted child abuser, Phil Dawkins. Dawkins is open to Marcella about being a non-practising paedophile – his urges are deemed unacceptable by society and he takes precautions to control them. Following his release from prison he's tried to move on to an acceptable life but Marcella struggles to move past Phil's admission.
Marcella digs deep in her attempts to take down Phil Dawkins, but her dogged pursuit has tragic consequences, causing her to question everything. Meanwhile, her ongoing blackouts mean she has to face up to the threat of losing her children.
Adam gets away from the killer's prison but loses consciousness while trying to escape in the car of an elderly couple. Meanwhile, Marcella confronts Reg about a binder that was stolen from his house, while Phil sets his sights on the detective.
Kevin Hoffs and his blue lorry are found abandoned in a lay by. Leann informs Marcella that the lorry had been there for 36 hours.
After analysing Adam's phone records, the team become aware that Adam had contacted the KidsCall helpline. Marcella heads there to retrieve the records and Maya is helpful despite both women having Tim Williamson in common. From Adam's records they see that he'd admitted to being abused by his father but his father has alibis for many incidents surrounding the case.