Buried under a potting bench is a rusted strongbox containing two rotting doctor's bags. In each one, swaddled in yellowed newspaper dated sixty years ago, lies a small human skeleton. When this grisly cold case is handed to LAPD's Lieutenant Milo Sturgis, he immediately consults psychologist-sleuth Alex Delaware. Tracing the long history of past residents of the Tudor mansion leads to a mysterious woman, the former private nurse to several of the wealthy owners. Probing deeper into the eerie deaths, Alex and Milo find themselves on a bloody path littered with unprecedented narcissism and unspeakable cruelty, and ultimately to a coldly diabolical mind that shakes both of them to the core.