Susan Callisto is pushing thirty and taking stock. The man in her life, Massachusetts Police Lieutenant Michael Benedict, has unaccountably left her without a word of goodbye. Wounded but full of pride, Susan at first wonders why and then shrugs and decides to forget about him. Who needs a moody piece of work like Michael, anyway? Certainly not Susan who, transitioning from lawyer to political consultant, is far too busy to think about love—except on lonely summer nights.
Her consulting firm caters to entry-level candidates, and late in the season, political novice Charles Renfrow begs Susan to help him run for mayor of Telford. But Renfrow is a scientist, not a politician, and his pockets are far too deep. Susan is tempted—Renfrow knows how to seduce—but her suspicions, if not her libido, are aroused. When a friend insists that Renfrow's biotech company is dumping deadly toxic waste, Susan decides to find out the truth before committing herself.
Instead of the truth, she finds a corpse, Renfrow's gorgeous assistant, Torie Moran. The murder weapon is a microtome blade, razor sharp and accessible to anyone at Renfrow's lab. After Torie's murder, violence shadows Susan and people close to her. She is attacked in her driveway. An elderly client is beaten and left for dead. The young daughter of a client is abducted on her way to camp. All are the sticky strands of a web with her name on it, Susan fears. Then Renfrow himself turns up dead. Could he have been the master of all of this?
The murders bring Michael Benedict back into Susan's life, and when another of her clients is charged, she elbows her way into Michael's investigation. Working on parallel tracks, Michael explores mountains while Susan unearths a truth about little Delia Baird. In the nick of time, Susan rescues Delia from the person she now reckons has killed Renfrow and his assistant. But she's only half right. Susan must confront the real killer—and try to escape with her life.