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From the outside, Carl and Lucy Greene seemed to be living the good life: they had a huge suburban mansion paid for by Carl's biotech job, and Lucy had the leisure to pursue her painting. But cracks in the facade--a child born with severe birth defects who only lived a few hours, and the couple's subsequent estrangement--had already put strains on their marriage. And then, during a business trip to the West Coast Carl abruptly dies.

The story is that he had a car accident. But why did Carl contact their old friend Kevin, a recently discredited TV journalist just a few days before he died, with promises of a big story? Why does an intruder break into Carl's office after the funeral? And what does any of this have to do with a rash of prison TB, their baby's encephalocele, or Lucy's brother's post-Gulf War willness?

Lucy wants some answers, and before she knows it she's careening across the western landscape with a hired killer on her trail, warned that she's messing with some very big players. With the help of Kevin, who's also an ex-boyfriend, and an ex-con named Darcy, Lucy searches for the truth even as she seeks to put her own troubled past to rest. In helping her, Kevin wants to resuscitate his career, and Darcy wants to protect her junkie sister, who's still on the inside. But with her loved ones dead and a Glock for a new best friend, Lucy is the one who will do whatever it takes to uncover the real story behind her husband's death.