Ellen is a single mother, and a feature writer for a local Philadelphia newspaper, recently taken over by a new hot editor, Marcelo, who though gorgeous, has not been short in letting staff go. Ellen knows that, like others, her job may be on the line, and she is more vulnerable than most, for she has a three-year old adopted son, Will, who is the love of her life.
As she goes to collect her post one morning, she picks up a `Missing Child' card, and is struck by the uncanny resemblance between Will and the little boy, Timothy Braverman, who was kidnapped from his home in Miami two years ago. Timothy's parents have a website for their child, and the story is grim: not only was Timothy kidnapped, but his childminder was killed. The ransom was paid, the child never returned to his home.
For Ellen, the story is heartfelt: she first got to know Timothy as a small baby, when he was in hospital undergoing heart surgery; his adoption was hard won. As she searches further, something niggles at Ellen, and she begins to delve into the story of Will's birth mother, and uncover a horrendous story that, as the novel goes on, has far reaching consequences . . .