On an island off the coast of Maine, in the small town of Sanctuary Harbor, a local fisherman disappears. Murder is suspected; but there is no body. Suspicion rests on Ella, candidate for the forthcoming mayoral election, but this puts local lawyer Matt Jones in an uncomfortable position - he's becoming increasingly attracted to Ella and can't accept her guilt. Who else would benefit from the death?
As Matt investigates further, a picture of prejudice and tension in the town emerges, and a wealthy summer visitor adds to the confusion when it appears she knew the fisherman better than she admits. But a secret exists between her and Ella.
Against this background comes the reappearance of valuable bluefin tuna in the gulf, along with their natural predators, a pod of killer whales. As the struggling fishermen attempt to exploit this piece of seeming good fortune, an explosive drama ensues.