FLASH! Illuminated by lightning, a lifeless human hand seems to reach from a barrel of asphalt beside the Charlotte racetrack.
Even for forensic anthropologist Dr Tempe Brennan, never easily shocked, it is a disturbing sight. And now she is under pressure to find answers before thousands arrive for the year's big race. But before she can carry out a proper examination, the FBI mysteriously confiscate and destroy the body.
It's a dead end. Until Wayne Gamble, a young engineer, alerts Tempe to the disappearance of his sister and her boyfriend from Charlotte twelve years earlier, and she determines to uncover what really happened to them.
When, a few days later, Gamble's body is found crushed under the wheels of a race car, Tempe realises the situation is truly sinister. And that even her own life could be in terrible danger...