A college student is found dead, floating in a rowing boat on a lake, a gaping wound in his abdomen. The autopsy reveals that his spleen was removed while he was still alive.
A media frenzy ensues, the press reaching the same conclusion as the local law enforcement: Gretchen Lowell, the Beauty Killer, still at large following her prison escape, is back and she's killing again.
But Detective Archie Sheridan, on medical leave following his last run-in with Gretchen, isn't so sure. The more he discovers about the murders the more convinced he is that they could be the work of a copy-cat. Plus Archie has other things to worry about – his health is declining sharply and he is being stalked by a strange young man. At first Archie dismisses him as one of a disturbed group who are obsessed with Gretchen and romanticise Archie's ten-day ordeal with her. But as the young man's attentions begin to intensify, it becomes clear that this group will go to great lengths to feel close to the Beauty Killer...
Archie, along with journalist Susan Ward, is desperate to find the truth behind this new spate of killings. But it is Gretchen who holds the answers and copy-cat or not, she still has one more victim in mind.