Work is a welcome refuge for New Orleans homicide detective Evangeline Theroux. Feeling suffocated by her new baby, in whose eyes she sees only her dead husband, she throws herself into a high-profile murder case. Reclusive writer Lena Saunders offers Evangeline a provocative theory about the crime: it is the work of a lunatic vigilante. Lena spins the sordid story of Ruth and Rebecca Lemay, whose mother brutally murdered her male children in an insane effort to root out an "evil" gene. The girls survived and grew to adulthood--but one is carrying on her mother's grisly work. When the case takes a terrifyingly personal turn, Evangeline's whole life will depend on a crucial, impossible choice: the lesser of two evils.