Tommy Farrier grows up searching for his lost little brother in a brutal inner-city world of drugs and violence. He never, ever gives up.
Tommy is a confident, loving five-year-old until Mam's boyfriend, Daryl lashes out, and Tommy's brother, Benjy is taken away by social services. Tommy believes it is his fault, because he was a coward.
Tommy is isolated in his guilt, until ugly Annie Cherani moves into the street. Her emotional openness astonishes the suppressed Tommy, while her vulnerability appeals to the protector in him. They share their secrets, all but one. Tommy cannot talk about Benjy. This leads to a disastrous fight for which Tommy, again, blames himself. He loses Annie, as he lost Benjy.
At fifteen Tommy has a refreshingly cheeky wit, but at heart he is still a guilty outsider. He is beaten up by Carl Sears and his vicious sidekick, Frogga. WhenTommy's drunken mam lets him down again, a decade of accumulated anger finally overwhelms his guilt.
Cynical and alienated, Tommy finds Frogga in a bar and takes his revenge. Still flushed with violence, he sees Annie Cherani. Their reunion is wild and sensual, but Carl Sears is furious, and he’s closing in.