It is spring, and the semi-preserved body of a young Jewish woman is discovered buried in the Maine woods. It is clear that she gave birth shortly before her death.
But there is no sign of a baby.
Private detective Charlie Parker is engaged by the lawyer Moxie Castin to shadow the police investigation and find the infant, but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in more than a missing child, someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake.
And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring.
For a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman . . .