Half-Iraqi, half-American Sirine is a cook at Nadia's Cafe, which draws the neighborhood's Arab students, expatriates, and exiles. All are hungry for "real true Arab food" and connection to their homes. One is Hanif Al Eyad, a new hire in the Near Eastern Studies Department at the university who fled Iraq as a young man. Sirine and Han fall in love over food: a baklava they make together, delicate lamb dishes, hummus glistening with olive oil....
Avis Muir is a brilliant pastry chef, Brian Muir a corporate real estate attorney. Their son, Stanley, is the proprietor of a trendy food market. Their beautiful daughter, Felice, is missing. A runaway at 13, Felice has spent five years modeling tattoos, skateboarding, clubbing, and sleeping in a squat house or on the beach. She's about to turn 18. Soon all of the Muirs will be forced to confront their anguish, loss, and sense of betrayal.
Lena is a fingerprint expert at a crime lab in the small city of Syracuse, New York, where winters are cold and deep. Suddenly, a series of crib deaths - indistinguishable from SIDS except for the fevered testimony of one distraught mother with connections in high places - draws the attention of the police and the national media and raises the possibility of the inconceivable: could there be a serial infant murderer on the loose?