Kate Killigrew leaves New York City, her advertising job, and ex-fiance to come to a small island off the North Carolina coast. She rents an old house on the beach and her first night there, she looks out the window and sees a girl, clad in a summery caftan, gazing at the house in the chill moonlight. -- the next day a man appears on that same stretch of beach. His name is Martin Donnerly, and he and his wife once lived there.
The islanders are eager to tell Kate how Martin had killed Donna Sue, his lovely, promiscuous wife. Now he is paroled after serving twelve years of his sentence. Martin claims he is innocent, but no one would believe him.
Falling deeply in love, Kate knows their only hope for a future together is to find the real killer. But whom should she suspect?