Bare bones : It's a summer of sizzling heat in Charlotte where Dr. Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist for the North Carolina medical examiner, looks forward to her first vacation in years. A romantic vacation. She's almost out the door when the bones start appearing. Everything must wait on the bones. Why are the X rays and DNA so perplexing? Who is trying to keep Tempe from the answers? Someone is following her. That someone must be stopped before it's too late. Grave secrets : Summer, 1982: Soldiers enter a Guatemalan village and massacre its women and children. Today, families refer to their lost members as the disappeared. Enter Temperance Brennan, about to confront the most heartbreaking case of her career. Out of shallow graves fading clues emerge. Something savage happened in the highlands two decades ago. Is it happening again? Four girls are missing and a human rights investigator is murdered as Tempe listens to her screams on the phone. Will Tempe be the next victim? Fatal voyage : Temperance Brennan hears that an Air TransSourth flight has gone down in the mountains of western North Carolina. As a forensic anthropologist she assists with body recovery and identification while searching to see if her daughter is among the victims.