Jack Whalen was an LAPD patrol cop for twelve years. He left in difficult circumstances and now he's not really sure what he is. He's not too sure about his wife, either – when she goes missing on a routine business trip to Seattle, Jack heads up there to find her: only to discover she's not really missing after all.
Over the coming days it becomes increasingly clear that something has changed, however – and is still changing. Jack is meanwhile contacted by a childhood acquaintance, Gary Fisher. Fisher's a lawyer now, and wants help in solving an odd little mystery concerning a businessman's will. The further Jack digs, the bigger the mystery seems to be – and the stranger Fisher becomes.
And in Oregon, a ten-year-old girl goes missing. It gradually becomes clear that she's at least partly in control of the situation, however – and also that she's very far from defenceless.
One man ties these three stories together. We're all haunted by the shadows of our pasts – Jack Whalen more than most – but as he is eventually to discover, the truth may go back a lot further than he ever realised.