As an opening to the latest Temperance Brennan novel, the body of a teenage girl is discovered on a desolate stretch of road outside Charlotte; inside her bag is the ID card of a local businessman, John-Henry Story, who died in a fire months earlier. The girl's body shows signs that it was a hit and run case.
Temperance becomes heavily involved in the search for answers to how she came by her fate - Who was she? Was she murdered? What about John-Henry Story? How are they connected?
Although the Police seem convinced she was a prostitute Temperance is not so sure and is determined the girl should not be a victim again, but this time due to lack of concern from law enforcement.
As well as this investigation she is also examining dog mummies from Peru that were seized by US Customs. A Gulf War veteran stands accused of smuggling artefacts. Is there a connection between antique smuggling and human trafficking?
Add to this an increasingly complicated personal life; a grieving daughter who has enlisted in the US Army and been sent to Afghanistan and an exasperated ex-husband who needs her to finalise their divorce, she finds herself in an incredibly complicated investigation which takes her across the globe and right back to Charlotte.
Written in the pacy style we have come to expect from Kathy Reichs, this book does not disappoint - deft characterisation and excellent forensics This is a plot twisting page-turner that puts Brennan right in the middle of a serious conspiracy.