Gabe and Marla Easton move to Hatteras Island on North Carolina's Outer Banks to escape from a stress-filled world in hope of conceiving their first child. Shortly after their arrival, a brutal rape/murder occurs on the island. As the investigation proceeds, the Eastons are drawn into the search for the killer. Soon, everybody seems to exhibit suspicious behavior. When Gabe is beaten and Marla is raped, Marla can't identify their assailant and can't even reveal her plight because the rapist has threatened to kill Gabe, who is alive but in a coma. The plot comes to a head as Marla realizes she is now pregnant. The story rushes to a climax as readers learn the identity of the assailant as well as the father of Marla's unborn child.