When the skeletal remains of three young women are discovered on the vacation estate of a U.S. Senator, Special Agent Gabe Sullivan and local forensic sketch artist Mackayla Kensington team up to solve the murders.
A profiler for fourteen years, Gabe knows his skills are useless until they discover the identity of the victims. As the two begin to work the case together, Gabe finds himself fascinated by Mackayla's strength and her ability to bring life to her sketches. Her free spirit and the way she finds joy in the simple things, has him taking stock of his life.
Mackayla's faith sustained her during the darkest moments of her life. The brutal murder of her own daughter is the driving force behind her dedication to families missing loved ones. Using her artistry skills, Mackayla works frantically to put faces to the skulls so their identities can be revealed. But when the killer realizes how good she is, she may be the next to die?
"Agent Landry," a woman's voice called out.
He turned to his left and saw a woman, or at least what he thought was a woman, approach him. She wore hiking boots, blue jeans, gray sweatshirt, and a backwards baseball cap. On her back, she toted a backpack almost as big as she was. She looked like she'd been trekking across the Himalayas. "They switched gates on us at the last minute." She offered her hand, along with a beautiful smile. "Mackayla Kensington. It's nice to meet you."
"How'd you know who I was?"
"I phoned Adam from the plane. He told me a federal agent would be meeting me, and you G-men all look alike."
"Do you have luggage?"
"I'm wearing it. I figured you wouldn't be leaving without me so I saved you a trip to baggage."
"Thanks. Appreciate it."
The trip from the airport to the parking lot was filled with polite conversation, mostly consisting of how much cooler it was compared to El Salvador. Arriving at his rental car, a gray Crown Victoria, he helped her off with her backpack. As heavy as it was, he wondered if she had taken along her whole wardrobe. "Do you want to pick up something to eat on the way to the lab, or do you need to get some sleep first?" he asked, slipping the pack into the trunk.
"I slept on the plane, and I'm not hungry."
Relieved of the pack, she was a lot smaller in appearance. A few inches shorter than him, he guessed she couldn't weigh much more than one-thirty. She was still wearing the backwards baseball cap, her brown hair neatly braided, draped loosely over her left shoulder. She looked to be in her mid to late thirties, somewhat older than he'd expected.
"You've only been a forensic sketch artist for six years?" he asked as he maneuvered his way onto the interstate.
"Yes. I was an art teacher previous. Seventh and eighth graders. I like this job better, the skulls don't talk back."
Gabe smiled at her. He liked her sense of humor. "So how long before you can get started?"
"I can get started tonight if you have the forensic data and Forrester left me his notes."
He liked her enthusiasm too. "Are you sure you're up to it?"
"The sooner we get started the sooner we can get these women home to their families."
"And the murderer behind bars," he added.
"Did Adam tell you I work out of my home? I have a dark room and studio there."
"No. Where's home?"
"I'll show you as soon as we stop by and pick up the skull. That is if you don't mind the extra driving. My neighbor usually takes me to the airport, 'cause I never know how long I'll be gone."