Glory Fischer lay atop a mattress on the floor with her brown eyes wide open, smearing the mosquitoes that landed on her face and listening to the moths beat their wings madly against the screen. Her skin was filmy with sweat. Her nightgown clung to her scrawny legs in the dampness. She waited, chewing her fingernails, until the house was dead still. At one in the morning, she finally decided it was safe to sneak away, the way she had done for the past five nights.
No one would hear her leave. No one would hear her come back.
The girl in the bikini pirouetted on the wet sand.
She was a hundred yards away, and all Mark Bradley could see was the sheen of her bare skin in the moonlight. She danced like a water sprite, with her head thrown back so that her hair swept behind her. She had her arms extended like wings. The dark water of the Gulf was as calm as glass, barely lapping at the beach. The girl splashed and kicked at the surf, sometimes running deeper into the warm water until it rose to her knees.
Hilary and Mark Bradley are caught in a web of suspicion.
A year ago, accusations of an affair with a student cost Mark his teaching job and made the couple into outcasts on their island home. Now another girl has been found dead, and Mark faces a hostile town convinced of his guilt.
Hilary Bradley is determined to protect her husband, but digging into the murdered girl's secrets proves lonely and dangerous. Her only ally is a quirky Florida detective named Cab Bolton.
Hilary and Cab are both outsiders in a place that doesn't trust strangers, and they're running out of time to find out what's buried in the ashes of the past. There are people willing to kill to keep the truth hidden - and to make sure Mark pays the ultimate price for a young girl's murder.