The slightly retarded fifteen-year-old daughter of a diplomat dies on a school field trip - forced or lured into a deserted corner of the Santa Monica mountains and killed in cold blood. Her father adamantly denies the possibility of a political motive, which leaves LAPD detective Milo Sturgis and his longtime friend Alex Delaware to pose the question: why? The victim's father is so intent on controlling the investigation that Alex and Milo start to wonder if he wants to bring out the truth - or make sure it stays buried. Then there is another killing, and within days Alex finds himself ensnared in one of the darkest, most menacing cases of his career. Driven to find answers, he and Milo will work closely with Inspector Daniel Sharavi, the brilliant Israeli police detective introduced in Jonathan Kellerman's The Butcher's Theatre, but it is Alex who goes undercover, alone, to expose the smug brutality of a murderous conspiracy and a terrifying contempt for human life. Weaving together the threads of a mystery that lead from a child's murder to a young scientist's suicide, Jonathan Kellerman draws one of the most chilling, frighteningly realistic portraits of evil you will ever experience.