Lincoln Rhyme and partner/paramour Amelia Sachs return to face a criminal whose masterful staging of crimes is enabled by a terrifying access to information..... When Lincoln's cousin is arrested on murder charges the case against Arthur Rhyme is perfect - too perfect. Forensic evidence from Arthur's home is found all over the scene of the crime, and it looks like the fate of Lincoln's estranged cousin is sealed. At the behest of Arthur's wife Judy, Lincoln begrudgingly agrees to investigate the case. Soon Lincoln and Amelia uncover a string of similar murders and rapes with perpetrators claiming innocence and ignorance - despite ironclad evidence at the scenes of the crime. Rhyme's team realizes this "perfect" evidence may actually be the result of masterful identity theft AND manipulation. An information service company--Strategic Systems Datacorp--seems to have all of the answers but is reluctant to share its information. Still, Rhyme and Sachs and their assembled team begin putting together a chilling pattern and consistent trace evidence, and their investigation points to one master criminal, whom they dub "522."