Can little crimes inspire big ones? When Adam and Eve Castle bring their miniature dioramas to Denver to train cops in crime-scene investigation, a string of baffling murders follows. Called in to solve the crimes depicted in the dioramas, paintings conservator Lily Sparks discerns connections between them and the real murders which draw her into the orbit of a killer intent on going from master of a tiny universe to playing God.
Each diorama parallels a real crime. But why is the killer reenacting the diorama murders on a life-sized stage? Are the dioramas roadmaps for the crimes, or are the victims being targeted based on the homes and lifestyles the dioramas represent? To catch the killer, Lily must now embark on a deadly new game of house played by a psychopath's rules.