Fearing that she is about to be fired by the governor, hounded in the media and in the courtroom, Kay Scarpetta leaves Virginia for what she believes will turn out to be the warmth and solace of the Florida sun.
However, Scarpetta is soon deep into a case that has left colleagues in Louisiana profoundly disturbed. A woman is found dead in a seedy hotel, dressed to go out, keys in her hand. Her history of blackouts, and her violent outbursts while under their spell, offer more questions than clues about the cause of her death.
Then Scarpetta receives news that chills her to the core: from his cell on death row, Jean-Baptiste Chandonne - the vicious and unrepentant 'Wolfman', who pursued her to her very doorstep - demands to see her. Only to Scarpetta will he tell the secrets he knows the authorities desire. After all the death and destruction, what sort of end game could this violent psychopath have in mind?