In the opening episode of this haunting novel, Frank Gillespie's suburban Chicago house literally comes crashing down around his ears in a heavy rainstorm. Frank and his wife and children are safe, but the after the collapse comes a greater tragedy.. the next morning, the murdered body of his sister Hope is found in a park across from the family home in Skokie, Illinois. It is a dreadful reenactment of a death that has haunted the Gillespie family for 17 years; Natalie, the beautiful second wife of Frank's father Dutch, was murdered in that same park, her body, like Hope's, covered with leaves.
Natalie's murder still reverberates through the Gillespie family: Dutch and his 8 children, all of them with secrets of their own. Hope's death draws the scattered family back together with their father. With this comes new suspicions about what really happened to Natalie Gillespie all those years before -- and why the truth remained hidden for so long.