On a savage, storm-lashed night, Michael Hrubek — a dangerously paranoid schizophrenic — escapes from a mental hospital for the criminally insane by impersonating a dead man. He’s on a mission — to find Lis Atcheson, the woman whose testimony identified him as the gruesome Indian Leap State Park murderer. He’ll stalk her all the way home, where she waits in the cool autumn night…surrounded by her past. For Lis, the chief witness at Hrubek’s trial, is a woman obsessed with the past. Living in the remote New England house that was her family’s summer retreat, she is struggling to put her life back together after a period of terrible turmoil — just as Michael Hrubek sets out on his harrowing quest.
Racing to intercept him are his psychiatrist, Richard Kohler, a brilliant doctor — but one with his own secrets to protect; Trenton Heck, a professional dog tracker, with an uncanny skill for picking up a trail and a desperate need for the reward money offered for Hrubek’s return; and Lis’s husband, Owen Atcheson, a man of uncommon intelligence and determination — who must hunt Hrubek down before he can destroy his wife. Yet Michael’s madness is inextricably entwined with his genius — and he proves a far greater adversary than any of his pursuers anticipated. For though his mind is tormented by his eerie delusions of betrayal and revenge, he is crystal clear on one point: he knows Lis Atcheson better than she knows herself, and as he hunts her he is bringing a terrible secret into the light of day.