Tempe Brennan has come to Montreal from Charlotte in early December to testify as an expert witness at a trial. As Forensic Anthropologist for the province of Quebec, that's part of her job. She should be going over her notes, but she's freezing her behind off instead, digging in the basement of a pizza parlour. Not fun. Not with all the rats. And the cold. And, now, the skeletonised earthly remains of three people, three young women. When did they die? How did they get there? Homicide detective Luc Claudel, never Tempe's greatest fan, believes the bones are historic. Not his case, not his concern. The pizza parlour owner, the Prince of Pizza as Claudel calls him, found some 19th century buttons with the skeletons, another indicator of the bones' probable age. But Tempe has her doubts. Something doesn't make sense. She'll look at the bones in her lab and do Carbon 14 testing to establish approximate age. And she can analyse the tooth enamel to tell approximately where the women were born. If she's right, Claudel has three recent murders on his hands. Definitely his case. Detective Andrew Ryan, meanwhile, is acting mysterious. What are those private phone calls he takes in the other room, and why does he suddenly disappear just when Tempe is beginning to trust him and to hope he might be part of her life? Looks like more nights at home for Tempe with a good book and Birdie, the cat. As Tempe searches for answers in both her personal and professional lives, she finds herself drawn deeper into a web of evil from which there may be no escape. Women have disappeared, never to return... Tempe may be next.