Word travels fast in Nantucket when two children and their dog discover a skeleton in the dunes of the cold Sconset beach. Could the dead woman be the latest victim of the serial killer who has been terrorizing mainland Massachusetts? The FBI seems to think so and sends their forensic psychiatrist to the scene. But Police Detective Merry Folger has her own suspicions, and starts looking into a cold case that has long baffled Nantucket police: the disappearance of a beautiful Harvard-educated psychiatrist seven years ago. When Merry starts inquiring into the tenuous leads in that long-cold case, she stumbles into a web of violent passions and buried crimes, a web that continues to ensnare victims. Two more women are murdered, giving fuel to the FBI’s quest for a serial killer. But Merry, well-aware of the tangled histories of some of the island’s longtime residents, is convinced the only way forward is digging deeper into the past.