Bad Marriage explores a complex father - daughter relationship between Pakistani born Latif Popals and his rebellious, daughter Habiba Popals. They live in the uncompromising suburb of Tooting Bec, London. When Latif Popals, against his better judgement, allows his daughter to go on a summer art course at the National Gallery, he sets in motion a series of events beyond his wildest dreams. Habiba falls in love with a small portrait of Christ, a fact noticed by Sean Dunmore, a security officer who stalks her on the Gallery's CCTV cameras. She agrees to meet him and shortly afterwards is drugged and raped by him. Unable to tell her father for fear of dishonouring the family name, Habiba, haunted by not knowing exactly what happened to her, attempts to suppress the memory of the assault. Along the way she seeks advice from 'Uncle' Baddy, a close friend. From him she discovers more about her family and the tradition of 'bad marriage' which has so afflicted it. And into the life of Habiba Popals comes Florentine-born Giacomo Baldini, who takes over as Head of Security at the National Gallery.
Bound by his own codes of honour and family, in tracking down Habiba he meets a woman whose story he instinctively understands and which poses him a choice between duty and love. In an exciting denouement, Habiba and Giacomo confront Sean Dunmore and Habiba is finally able to discover exactly what happened to her that fateful evening.