Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Cornwell's popular forensic examiner, now finds herself caught in a labyrinthine case that wraps a web of danger around those closest to her and threatens to wreak fear and death far beyond the confines of Virginia.
New Year's eve and the final murder scene of Virginia's bloodiest year since the Civil War takes Scarpetta thirty feet below the elizabeth River's icy surface. A scuba diver and investigative reporter, Ted Eddings, is dead. Was Eddings out probing for a story or simply diving for sunken trinkets? And why did Scarpetta receive a phone call from someone reporting the death before the police were notified?
After a second murder, closer to home, Scarpetta, her niece Lucy, and police captain Pete Marino must work together with cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned detective work if they want to catch the murderer.