Nine-year-old Ida Joner gets on her brand-new bike and sets off to buy sweets. Thirty-five minutes after Ida should have come home, her mother, Helga, starts to worry. She phones the shop and various friends, but no one has seen her daughter. As the family being to search for Ida, Helga's worst nightmare becomes reality.
As the police are called in, hundreds of volunteers comb the neighbourhood, but there are no traces of the little girl, or her bike. As the relatives reach breaking point and the media frenzy begins, Inspector Sejer struggles to remains calm and reassuring. But usually missing children are found within forty-eight hours. Ida seems to have vanished without a trace.