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 it is a disturbing sight. And now she must 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 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. Soon after, the engineer'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.