The body of a teenage girl is discovered along a desolate highway on the outskirts of Charlotte. Inside her purse is the ID card of a local businessman who died in a fire months earlier. This is no ordinary hit-and-run. Who was the girl? And was she murdered? Dr Temperance Brennan, Forensic Anthropologist, must find the answers. She soon learns that a Gulf War veteran stands accused of smuggling artefacts into the country. Could there be a sinister connection between the two cases? Convinced that the girl's death was no accident, Tempe takes courageous action to find justice for the dead. But her search throws her to the centre of a conspiracy that extends from South America to Afghanistan - and places her in terrible danger.