In one of their first cases, investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro found missing four-year-old Amanda McCready and brought her home. However, the home she returned to was a broken home and her mother, Helene, was of dubious character.
Now, Amanda is sixteen-years-old and her aunt, again, asks their help.
The setting is again Boston with the homeless, the abandoned shuttered homes and for many, lost hope.
The economy in 2009 was hurting and unemployment was soaring. Angie is at night school and Patrick's income is barely sufficient.
Amanda's aunt, Beatrice McCready discloses tha Helene isn't providing a good home for Amanda. Beatrice thinks that Amanda is missing and Helene is hiding the fact.
Reluctantly Patrick and Angie take the case. Because they are now parents, themselves, they see things differently and they feel badly for bringing Amanda back to that sad, neglectful home.
They find that Amanda is a honor student at high school and seemed destined to rise above her surroundings. A scholarship to Harvard awaits her if she finishes her courses. They also find that Amanda's friend, Sophie, disappeared with her.
The story follows the girls and we learn of identity theft and a black market baby selling operation. Amanda is on the run. She has two items that a ruthless gang leader wants. The gangester is a meth user and unbalanced.
Dennis Lehane is now a new father, himeslf and told the audience in a recent mystery conference, that he wanted to make a statement about the economy of 2009 and about parenthood.
He accomplished both goals with an excellent addition to the legend of Kenzie and Gennaro.