A woman is found brutally murdered, the pattern all too familiar. Her killer, long gone from the scene of the crime, is a man named Michael Woodrow, a flawlessly handsome and intelligent thirty-year-old. As successful as he is as a corporate consultant, he cannot control his compulsion to kill. And kill again. His father, Norman Woodrow, is every inch the educated English professor of distinction. Now in his sixties, he's finally released from jail. And though the iron bars may be gone, what remains are the images of a horrible crime from the past. Lizabeth Seaver is the Woodrows' new neighbor, a young woman rebounding from a broken marriage. Through her own healing, she manages to bring a distant father and son closer, and a romance with Michael inevitably begins. Threatening the growing harmony is Victor Flam, a tough and ill-mannered private investigator, who is hired to find the killer of a slain woman. Flam's investigation will eventually bring him to the Woodrows' front door and will unleash in Norman a terrible suspicion. As the sins of the past reach out, Norman wonders just what the future holds.