Tom Bridger, who is half Melungeon, thought he had escaped his mountain community’s lingering prejudice against the mixed-race group when he left to work for the Richmond, Virginia, Police Department. Tom was moving up the detective ranks when a family tragedy brought him back home and moved him into his father’s job as a county sheriff’s deputy.
Now the bones of a Melungeon woman who disappeared ten years ago have surfaced on a remote mountaintop, and all evidence points to murder. Violence escalates as the victim’s poor family and the wealthy white family she married into scramble to protect their secrets from Tom’s probing. But as he looks into his father’s investigation of the case, he finds his father was not the man he idolized.
The woman Tom is falling in love with, veterinarian Rachel Goddard, is struggling to start over in a place that holds no memories for her. Rachel puts herself in danger when she befriends Holly, niece of the dead Melungeon woman. As a child, the girl witnessed something that could implicate her aunt’s killer, but she is too terrified to tell anyone what she knows. While Rachel is determined to keep Holly safe and help her piece together past events, the guilty are equally determined to silence the girl—and Rachel too, if necessary.
Will this murder be Tom’s and Rachel’s undoing, or will it free them to look into the future?