New York book editor Maris Matherly-Reed knows a best seller when she sees one - even if it is just a tantalizing partial manuscript submitted by a writer identified only as P.M.E., with the return address of an obscure island off the Georgia coast. Maris is intrigued enough to search for him.
Her trip to Georgia to meet the mysterious author takes her to an eerie, ruined cotton plantation, where Maris finds Parker Evans, a man confined to a wheelchair who carefully hides his past. Coaxing his novel from him chaper by chapter, Maris becomes caught up in his tale of two friends who rent a boat with a young woman for a night of sex and drinking. Only one person will return from that trip.
Disturbed about her sexual attraction to Parker and worried about her marriage to author and her co-publisher Noah Reed, Maris returns to New York, where the delivery of Parker's newest chapters convince her they are more than fiction. She wonders how well she knows her husband and begins a harrowing search for a truth that ties back to a terrifying crime and a man who will use her, or anyone, to get his revenge.