Under the microscope, the outer bone surface is a moonscape of craters.
It is the skeleton of a young girl, no more than fourteen years old - and forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan is struggling to control her emotions.
The coroner is being evasive, insisting the bones are ancient and of no interest. But this doesn't feel right, and Tempe is convinced that someone is hiding something.
Working on instinct, Tempe takes matters into her own hands. But her work uncovers horrors she could never have predicted, as what started in the lab quickly becomes her most harrowing, and personal, case yet.