When a plane crashes high in the mountains of North Carolina, Dr Temperance Brennan is first on the scene. As a forensic anthropologist for the state, she serves on the disaster response team. The task that confronts h a sad and sickening one. A chance discovery concerns Tempe: a severed foot, away from the main crash site. A deserted house is buried so deep in the woods that locals know nothing of its existence. And her investigation throws up more questions than it answers. Before she can make any progress Tempe's professional standing is threatened. But she, fears that, air tragedy aside, another corpse lies in the woods. Pitting herself against a conspiracy of silence, Tempe vows to bring justice for her mystery victim.