When old friend Anne Steele and husband Josh ask Frank Doy to look after their son, Tom, Frank can't say no. Tom is in terrible danger, his life threatened by the gangster father of a young man killed by Tom in a drink-driving incident.
Frank takes his charge to an isolated cottage in wintry Northumberland, but trouble soon follows, and doesn't let go. All through the siege of a lonely village during a blizzard, Frank fights to keep Tom alive. In the process he unravels a story that is at odds with what the Steeles had told him. It's the story of a dangerous business partnership turned sour, and a young man placed in jeopardy by family loyalty.
The struggle returns to Teesside, where the Steeles' business empire is based. On a sinking ship off the River Tees, Frank negotiates a deal to keep Tom – and his parents – alive.