Boston, 1982. Private investigator Andy Roark has spent the past decade trying to rediscover his place in the world. In Vietnam, there was order and purpose. Everything-no matter how brutal-happened for a reason. Back home, after brief stints in college and with the police force, Roark has settled for a steady, easy routine of divorce and insurance fraud cases. Roark's childhood friend, Danny Sullivan, dragged himself out of blue-collar Southie to become a respected and powerful lawyer. Now he wants Roark to help one of his clients with a sensitive request. Deborah Swift, wealthy wife of an aspiring California politician, is trying to trace her father, last seen on Cape Cod, who walked out on her and her mother long ago. Other investigators have turned up nothing, but Roark's local connections might give him an edge. The case takes Roark to the island of Nantucket, tranquil in its off-season, and laden with picturesque charm. Yet even here, on the quaint cobblestoned streets and pristine beaches, Roark's finely honed senses alert him to danger just below the surface. Nothing is quite as it seems. And the biggest case of Roark's career may just shatter what little peace of mind he has left . . .