Los Angeles. 1962. The body of Mary Barnes is found in a seedy hotel,... with a bloody X carved into her breast. Is it a signature? Or something else? Laine has been investigating homicides for the L.A. Sheriff's department for years, rolling streets as pallid as a tired prostitute, but this case is different. Why was Mary in a cheap hotel, and where was the baby that she'd recently given birth to? His search for the answer could lead him to a truth that's too dark and unsettling even for him, a hard man who believes he's already seen the worst horrors the city has to hide.