Winter in a New England prep school brings term papers, wet snow, and the suicide of a young black student. Except Liberty Baker's friends are convinced she couldn't have taken her own life, and Liberty's faculty advisor, Awasha Patterson, believes them. She is desperate to believe any theory that Liberty's death was suspicious - Awasha turned the girl away the night of her death. If Liberty had been suicidal, Awasha had missed the signs. But how to prove it? No one in the school wants to think that it could have been a racially-motivated crime; vague whispers of school-sanctioned secret societies are quickly stopped by the headmaster.
Awasha can't let it rest, her guilt is consuming. So she seeks out help from a man she knows understands guilt - a man so sensitive, so compassionate to others, that it ruined his career as a defense attorney with one fateful case. Awasha finds Michael DeCastro on his father's fishing boat, and Michael knows from the moment he sees her that he's about to be haunted by another injustice. And he knows he'll give everything of himself until the spirits of the dead lie in peace.