Sixteen-year-old Amanda McCready has disappeared. Her anxious aunt contacts Patrick Kenzie to investigate. It is not the first time she has gone missing, as Patrick well knows - he was the investigator who worked on her case when she was kidnapped before, as a four-year-old.
But this is not a simple case of a runaway girl. In fact, nothing in Amanda's life has been simple: brought up by the world's worst mother, neglected throughout her childhood, she has nonetheless blossomed into a formidably intelligent young woman. A young woman so bright that she can seemingly out-think and out-manoeuvre anyone...
For Patrick, the case leads him down Boston's darkest, most dangerous streets - and into a world of shocking secrets that will threaten not only Amanda's life, but also his own and that of his partner Angie Gennaro.