After his abusive father attacked his mother, Patrick Liam "Plod" O'Driscoll hit him just a little too hard, accidentally killing him. He ended up in prison for six years, and now that he's out, he's ready to begin a new life in a remote area of New Zealand's North Island.
But it seems Plod can't escape his violent past, and his dream of a rural paradise is soon disrupted. His only friend, a recluse called Dunny, suffers a brutal attack and dies of his wounds. His last words are puzzling: they're stealing the trees. Plod doesn't know if the message was the result of delusion, or if Dunny was really trying to tell him something.
When the police call Plod in, he thinks it's about his parole, but it's really about Dunny. Two men masquerading as policemen accuse him of killing the old man-and then kidnap Plod along with a local policeman. They manage to escape, though now Plod is pretty sure Dunny's last message to him wasn't a bunch of nonsense.
Things get even more interesting for Plod when Senior Sergeant Jill Boyd is called in to take charge of the murder and kidnapping cases. Sparks fly between the two, but danger still dogs their every step, and it's anyone's guess if they'll make it out alive.