Merci Rayborn is a detective with a troubled past: her previous partner died protecting her from an insane killer before he even knew she was carrying his child. Two years later she has finally begun to pull her life back together and has started seeing fellow officer Mike McNally. They are the forces golden couple - both children of retired cops and highly competent officers in their own right. But this tentative happiness is shattered when a young prostitute is found brutally murdered, and McNally emerges as the prime suspect. Merci is the lead investigator on the case, and must do the unthinkable - expose and arrest her lover. With her world turned upside down, Merci has to balance her emotions against where the truth leads her. But the truth is taking her down some very strange alleyways - from present-day Orange County to late sixties California, and the unsolved murder of another prostitute.