It’s been over a year since Sarah Linden handed in her badge, leaving police work for good. She has started over on Vashon Island, 15 minutes outside of Seattle — but it might as well be a world away. Sarah is enjoying a quiet existence, working on the ferry, dating an uncomplicated man, going running every day. Lately she’s lost touch with her old partner, Holder, so she is surprised when he shows up on her doorstep with a new case that has similarities to a case she closed three years ago (the case that landed her in the hospital the first time). Sarah will realize that in order to put the past to rest, she may have to reopen old wounds.



Holder has been working with a new partner, a seasoned well-respected detective named Carl Reddick who’s been on the force for 20 years. The Holder of Season 3 is more confident, ambitious, and better dressed than the green detective of Seasons 1 and 2. He’s got a new grown-up life, studying for the sergeant’s exam and dating an assistant district attorney. But when a new case begins and Sarah Linden re-enters his life, he’ll have to decide what kind of detective he really is.



Ray Seward is a death row inmate, set to be executed in 30 days for the murder of his wife. He was born into poverty and crime, and was taught early (by his father and various stand-in father figures) that fear cannot exist inside a real man. He’s a life-long convict who has been in and out of the system for various violent crimes since he was 10 years old. Resigned to die, although not quietly, Seward knows his end is near. But as the clock ticks down in his waning days, he’s forced to confront his past and its secrets, and to reevaluate his definition of “a real man.”



James Skinner is the well-respected, well-regarded leader of Seattle’s Special Investigations Unit and Sarah Linden’s ex-partner. Prosecutors relax a little when they see his name on the docket because they know they can trust the work. His partnership with Sarah was intense, a meeting of two likeminded people doing work that very few can stomach. It’s been over three years since Sarah and Skinner have seen each other, and when they are forced to work side by side on a new high profile case, they will have to confront some of their past mistakes neither wish to face.



Poor and a young single mother — neither, of course, by choice — Danette is trapped in the cyclical hell of a battered-down life. The money she makes as a hairdresser goes immediately back into her rent (which she’s chronically two months late on), her self-image (which she’s increasingly unsatisfied with), booze (which there’s never enough of), but none of it to her 15-year-old daughter Kallie, who she wishes would finally “just grow the hell up.” But when Kallie goes missing in a city gripped with terror over the recent murders of teenage runaways, Danette will inch towards the revelation that her choices have had consequences, and that she is a mother, whether she wanted to be one or not.



Bullet looks like a boy, talks like a boy but is, in fact, a girl, a tough scrappy lesbian who’s lived on the streets of Seattle since she was 13 years old. Fierce and funny, Bullet protects herself with her larger-than-life bravado and a fearlessness that can sometimes get her into trouble. Bullet is in love with another street kid, a hooker named Lyric, but she has no idea how to express feelings like love and so she’ll pine, unrequited, and forever be a “good friend.” Bullet is the self-appointed protector of all the street girls and she takes this responsibility with a grave seriousness that can often mean throwing down on the street with guys twice her size… and winning. Deeply distrustful of adults (especially men and authority figures), Bullet will forge an unlikely alliance with Holder who somehow is the one person in the world who completely understands her, and she him.


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