Dr. Gregory is starting to feel settled, hopeful that a long period of upheaval in his private life is behind him. He refocuses his energy on his clinical psychology practice, where a beguiling new patient captivates him, but the interlude of calm doesn’t last. Devastating fires are threatening Boulder. Alan’s dear friend Diane is showing signs of a long-simmering emotional collapse. And Alan’s most pressing fear — the exposure of a dangerous secret — has become a peril too real to ignore.
A new witness has surfaced, causing the police to reopen their investigation into the suicide of a woman named Justine Winter Brown. When Alan and his equally culpable friend, Sam Purdy, inadvertently disclose their involvement in her death to a stranger, any confidence they feel about riding out a renewed investigation evaporates. The trail that leads to Alan and Sam, once cold, has turned white-hot.
With his vulnerability mounting daily, Alan suspects that his mesmerizing new patient may be the catalyst that could cause everything he treasures — his marriage, his family, his friendships, and his future — to implode. As flames lick at the city, the story hurtles toward a shocking conclusion that leaves the stage set for a jaw-dropping last act — the upcoming final book in the two-decades-long Alan Gregory saga.