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The Sinner follows a young mother (Jessica Biel) who, when on a day trip with her husband (Christopher Abbott) and son, commits a startling act of violence and, to her horror, has no idea why. The event launches an inverted and utterly surprising crime thriller whose driving force is not the “who” or the “what” — but the “why.” When an investigator (Bill Pullman) finds himself obsessed with uncovering the woman’s buried motive, together they travel a harrowing journey into the depths of her psyche and the violent secrets hidden in her past.
While at the beach with her husband and son, Cora Tannetti, for reasons unknown, stabs a beachgoer to death, sparking a police investigation.
Cora tries to block Ambrose’s continuing investigation, while Mason struggles to come to terms with secrets from Cora’s past.
Ambrose unearths a startling secret about Cora that changes the course of the investigation; Mason takes matters into his own hands.
With Ambrose’s help, Cora struggles to recover missing memories, which lead Ambrose to a new suspect.
More questions are raised after the body of a teenager is found deep in the woods.
After Cora begs him, Detective Ambrose calls in a favour with the Judge to allow him to take Cora to the Beverwyck to see if she can remember anything.
Cora journeys into the past, finally remembering the night in question.
Cora’s fate is determined.