Detective Rachel Siegel is a twelve-year veteran of the San Patricio Sheriff's Department. But she's never seen anything like the handiwork of the Pied Piper, the vicious serial killer who's been terrifying that part of California for months. Because she's the best at what she does, it's now her job to catch this maniac--but she has very personal reasons, too, for wanting him stopped.
Halfway across the country, Kenneth Bennett works for the Department of Neuropsychiatry at St. Louis's Washington University. But his real vocation is helping police departments across the U.S. solve baffling crimes. There's something special about the Pied Piper case that draws Bennett almost against his will to the west coast. He has no choice but to help Siegel in her frantic search--even if it gets both of them killed in the process.