The unsolved murders at a remote Wisconsin farmhouse half a century ago have receded into time. But one deranged man will do anything to make sure that all of Pepin County remembers that bloody day.
When a quantity of dangerous pesticides is stolen from the local co-op, Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins is called in to investigate. The thief has left one bizarre clue: the finger bone of a child long dead.
The pesticides soon reappear with devastating effect - in flowerbeds, in animal feed, and in a fatal concoction at a Fourth of July picnic. Each time, a tiny human bone is left at the scene. With the help of Harold Peabody, the quirky, aging editor of the Durand Daily, Claire unravels the secrets of the past, leading her to a pair of young lovers, a man enraged over his mother’s death, an obsessive recluse, and the deputy who first discovered the corpses of the Schuler family. Claire desperately races against time to find the madman before he uses the lethal pesticide again. But he won’t be stopped. Not until he gets what he wants.