“Down time” is not a phrase in Tempe Brennan’s vocabulary. A string of disturbing cases has put her vacation plans on hold; instead, she heads to the lab to analyze charred remains from a suspicious fire, and a mysterious black residue from a small plane crash. But most troubling of all are the bones. Even more disturbing is the fact that bones turns up on a family picnic in North Carolina–but are they animal or human? X-rays and DNA may link the crimes, but they can’t reveal who is closing in on Tempe and her family. And how far they will go to keep her from uncovering the truth?