Violence is escalating, and spilling onto the streets of Montreal. A nine-year-old girl is killed in crossfire on her way to ballet class. The body of a teenager killed in North Carolina is found hundreds of miles away. Forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan has to pick up the pieces: she knows she shouldn't let emotion get in the way, but when nine-year-old Emily's body is wheeled into the morgue she cannot help but react. An exhumation uncovers the bones of another innocent in a clandestine grave close to a biker gang headquarters. With her boss in hospital and sparring partner Detective Andrew Ryan mysteriously unavailable, Tempe alone begins a perilous investigation into the lawless underworld of organised crime.