March 1930: Silent movie actress Betty Winter is killed on set after a lighting system falls on her. Talkies are destroying the careers of producers, cinema owners and stars in a world that is already bubbling with studio wars and sexual politics. Inspector Gereon Rath suspects sabotage, possibly worse. Meanwhile, the murder of a Nazi named Horst Wessel leads to street riots and Rath's relationship with Charlotte Ritter is on the rocks.
Then another actress is found dead, this time with her vocal cords removed.