Maura intended to vacation in Sanderson, Wyoming, at the home of her friend and colleague, forensic scientist Dr. Alan Swayne, and then return to Atlanta to marry fiancé Jackson Williams. The engagement was broken, and Maura remained in Sanderson to write her third book.
At Dr. Swayne's request, Maura joins the investigation with Detective Roger Joyce and his partner when a second homicide occurs in Sanderson. Both victims have identical wounds - one stab wound to the heart, another to the groin. At each scene, investigators find a scrap of paper with a stanza of poetry, but have no likely suspect. Resentful of her inclusion in the investigation, Joyce, a former FBI profiler, is surly and distrustful. A third murder occurs. Just as they are making progress toward forming an effective investigative team, Joyce uncovers details of Maura's past that point to her as the prime suspect.(less)