To Rachel Keyte death is the enemy. Her beloved father's early death from heart failure ignited a single-minded determination in her: to save as many patients as she can, and to become a consultant before the age of forty. She has cast everything else aside - friends, a relationship, empathy - instead allowing an obsession with work to take hold. Even so, Rachel doesn't want to operate on Craig Rawlins. She is not a paediatric surgeon, and he is only twelve, but she is persuaded that she is his only chance. Rachel knows that a GP's misdiagnosis has left Craig's mother Eve with a deep distrust of the medical profession. Craig is all she has and she barely consents for the surgery to go ahead. The operation is a success, but soon afterwards sepsis sets in and rips through Craig's fragile body. Nothing could have prepared Rachel for the guttural sound that tears from Eve's throat as she faces her, or for what happens next. Eve blames Rachel for Craig's death, and she wants a life for a life...