Three children, strangers to each other, are brought together by seemingly motiveless and extreme acts of violence. Orphaned and alone, they are taken in as students at Evensong, a boarding school for emotionally traumatized children in the remote Maine wilderness. A place of safety? Forensic pathologist Maura Isles already has a connection with the school - Julian 'Rat' Perkins, the 16-year-old boy she met during a previous case, is now living there. But she suspects that the Evensong founders may be using the school for their own agenda. And her concerns grow when Detective Jane Rizzoli is asked to investigate yet another attempt on the life of one of the orphans at the school ...Or A place of danger? What both Jane and Maura soon discover is that even a school protected by locked gates and acres of forest cannot shut out a gathering threat. When three blood-spattered twig dolls are found hanging from a tree, they wonder if the threat comes from outside the school ...or from within.