November 12, 2023
Not only has Annika’s father Magnus appeared at her home without warning: he’s going on a holiday with her. Morgan is working at an eco-resort for a week, so Annika is going to stay there – with Magnus in tow. He won’t tell Annika why he came to visit, other than that Morgan called him and he wants to spend time with both her and Annika. He decides to charter a seaplane to get to the resort, because he won’t let Annika drive his sporty car and she still hasn’t replaced hers.
Morgan has arranged a single cabin for her mother and grandfather, to Annika’s ire. Magnus finally admits to his daughter that he came to visit because he is thinking about leaving her mother, and wanted to think and talk it over with Annika.
Annika flees this conversation to go walk by the river. She finds an even greater distraction there: a body floating in the water.
It is soon identified as that of Casper McCray, a builder who was hired to work on a skywalk for the resort. Annika saw him earlier that day, when he told the resort owner, Louise Keanny, that he had to leave for an appointment. Louise was frustrated by him because he was slow in the work, used the wrong materials, and drove over a delicate ecosystem.
Harper is soon at the resort to set up a mobile incident unit, which upsets Louise because it is bad for business, but Michael and Blair stay in Glasgow – Blair because she’s pregnant, Michael because he has food poisoning from a dish cooked by his daughter in home economics.
Casper appears to have fallen from a great height, and also has a friction burn on one shoulder. His body probably drifted downstream, so it’s not clear where he was actually killed. It could have been on the other side of the resort, where he was working on the skywalk.
Harper visits Casper’s husband, Lance Wallace, at the impressive home he and Casper just bought nearby. They only got married the previous month. There were a lot of recent big developments: Casper also just bought himself a new SUV, which is now missing. In addition to being a builder, he ran a business out of Glasgow with a woman named Nell Dwight – Lance thinks she was a nightmare.
Indeed, as Harper briefs Annika outside Lance’s house, she sees Nell drive up and smash the window of a car with a golf club. Nell and Lance argue and throw things at each other as Harper and the recently arrived Annika try to intervene.
Nell only found out that Casper had gotten married from his obituary, and is upset because her partnership with him was informal. Now half of the business will go to Lance, whom she accuses of being a gold digger who killed Casper for the money. But both Lance and Nell have alibis.
Nell and Casper’s company bought properties at reduced prices after Casper assessed them – at disingenuously low values – and then resold them for a profit. It has been sued for fraud several times.
Magnus is annoyed that Annika has started working during what was supposed to be a holiday. He waits up for her to return to their cabin, in order to share a drink of aquavit with her. He believes Annika is using the investigation as an excuse to avoid talking to him, he later tells Morgan.
The next day, he is the one who is late to a dinner organized by Morgan with the goal of making Annika spend time with him. He is found drunkenly singing and feeding deer on the resort, to Louise’s horror and Annika’s embarrassment. He spoke to his wife on the phone and then got drunk. After getting cleaned up – Morgan has to clean up his vomit – he takes a taxi back to Glasgow.
Casper’s car is tracked down via its GPS. It has crashed on its side off a high ridge near the river; his friction burn’s location, if it came from a seatbelt, means he would have been a passenger, not the driver. Nearby in the grass are keys with a keychain for a community center – and Dana Ashraf, who runs the center, had signed into the resort to see Casper the day he was killed.
Dana had hired Casper to do work on the community center but eventually had to cancel the contract because he kept delaying starting construction. She visited him at the resort to try to get him to return her deposit, for which the center had fundraised, but he simply walked away and told her he had an appointment.
He had bought his new car with that deposit – and also, she later learned, bought the community center’s building. She was going to have to move out. After he left her at the resort, she saw that he had left his keys in his car and decided to take it and drive it off the ridge, so that he would know how it felt to lose something. This account is confirmed by forensics, which shows that the car was empty when it crashed.
A paper in Casper’s car lists an appointment to view a property that would have been too far for him to reach by car in time, and he was last seen going towards the part of the resort that contains its seaplane jetty. Geoff McIver, the pilot who brought Annika and Magnus to the resort, missed an oyster delivery on the day that Casper was killed because he was busy with another flight.
Casper and Nell bought Geoff’s father Rod’s house for half the market price six months ago – it’s the home where Lance now lives. Rod passed away not long after. Casper’s friction burn could have come from a struggle with the seatbelt, and Geoff’s plane has autopilot, so he could have stopped flying for a minute to push Casper out.
When Geoff sees the police approaching as he lands at the jetty, he starts to take off again. Annika and Harper are in a boat and decide to play chicken with him before he can lift off. He cuts his engine and is arrested. He explains that his father, a former pilot, would don his RAF uniform and walk past his old property. One day, Lance and Casper shouted him off it; he never left the house again.
Magnus comes to pick Annika up from the resort in his car, telling her that he is proud of her for her work on the case. Pride is not a sentiment he has expressed to his daughter before, which is another reason that he wanted to come visit her.
Father-daughter relationships are complicated. Michael finally tells his wife Astrid that Morgan is his daughter, and that he only just found out. Astrid asks him what is going to change.