When four teenagers go missing on the small northern town of Algonquin Bay the extensive police investigation comes up empty. Everyone is ready to give up except Detective John Cardinal, an all-too-human loner whose persistence only serves to get him removed from homicide. Haunted by a criminal secret in his past, and convinced his own partner is investigating him, Cardinal is on the brink of losing his career - and his family.
Then the mutilated body of thirteen-year-old Katie Pine is pulled out of an abandoned mineshaft. And only Cardinal is willing to consider the horrible truth: that this quiet town is home to the most vicious of killers. With the media, the provincial police and his own department questioning his every move, Cardinal knows that time is running out - not just for him but for the next victim, tied up in a basement, waiting to die.