When an unusual picture called a spirit photograph, which some Victorian spiritualists claimed was a photograph of the dead, sells at auction, Flynn Keirnan is determined to discover the story behind it. She soon learns the ghostly figures in the picture were the subjects of a sensational murder trial in 1875 Chicago. Flynn tracks the story through many sources, including the trial transcript, a journal kept by one of the victims, and notes from a jailhouse interview with the husband conducted by feminist firebrand Victoria Woodhull for her radical newspaper.
On the day after Thanksgiving, 1868, George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh Cavalry attack a sleeping Cheyenne village on the banks of the Washita. Amidst the heartless and senseless slaughter of men, women, and children, the Seventh Cavalry discovers a white woman living among the Cheyenne. Her name is Eden Murdoch, and she was presumed dead years before.
A child custody battle turns deadly on a windswept winter prairie in 1878. A man begins a quixotic search for lost love in an effort to mend his shattered life. A sacred Native American shrine is about to be defiled, but not if one determined woman can stop it. These three seemingly unrelated stories collide at the Solomon Springs natural wonder held sacred for centuries because of its legendary healing properties. Murder shatters the spiritual calm that is Solomon Spring.
As women seek political equality with men, an unlikely heroine steps forward to make history. When her father's death forces Laurel McBryde to leave her beloved childhood home in the Flint Hills to live with the Hartmoors, a prosperous banking family, she feels like a lonely outcast among the prim and proper Victorians of Chisholm, Kansas. Soon a growing attraction to radical politics and to Carey Fairchild, a tenant farmer on Hartmoor land, change Laurel's life forever.