When a burnt body is identified as local math teacher Adam Merkel, a small Nevada town is rocked to its core. In the seven months he worked at Lovelock’s middle school, the quiet and seemingly unremarkable Adam Merkel had formed a bond with just one of his students: Sal Prentiss, a lonely sixth grader who lives with his uncles on a desolate ranch in the hills. It is Sal who finds Adam’s body, charred almost beyond recognition, half a mile from his uncles compound. Nora Wheaton, the school’s social studies teacher, sensed a kindred spirit in Adam. After his death, she delves into his past for clues to who killed him. Yet, the truth about Adam’s murder may lie closer to home.