On a summer afternoon in 1955 a jealous four-year-old girl named Cherry Ring bites her baby brother Pete on the cheek. She bites him so hard that little Pete needs a skin graft to repair the damage and will have a scar for the rest of his life. Cherry knows what's she's done is wrong, and she really is sorry. But sorry isn't going to be good enough. The bite marks the beginning of a troubled relationship between the siblings that will last a lifetime. As Pete gets older he perfects an ability to completely ignore his sister. It scares Cherry, the way he looks right through her. Their mother, Nora, plays the role of the perfect suburban housewife, but there is a troubled darkness behind her beautiful facade. Cherry's father Murray is the one person she can count on. When he dies of a sudden heart attack when Cherry is nine years old, she doesn't feel safe anymore. When Cherry is in university, Pete, Nora, and Nora's new husband move to Vancouver. Cherry isn't sorry to see them go. Her own life is beginning to come together. Fourteen years later, strange things suddenly start happening around her house. Luckily, Frank Foote, that nice police inspector, lives in the neighbourhood. The story unfolds in the Winnipeg neighbourhood of Norwood Flats, which readers have come to know in Preston's previous mysteries, The Rain Barrel Baby and The Geranium Girls.