Three years ago, top San Diego homicide detective Nevada James went up against an infamous serial killer called the Laughing Man...and lost. The mental breakdown that followed left her institutionalized and longer able to work as a police officer. Having lost everything, Nevada is content to do odd jobs to keep a step ahead of the bill collectors and fund her out-of-control drinking problem. But that changes when Alan Davies, a local crime lord, comes to her with a problem. His wife and daughter are missing and he can't go to the police. If Nevada helps him, he'll pay her eugh that she'll never have to worry about money again. But what should have been a simple missing persons case quickly turns deadly. Alan Davies has enemies, and in the course of trying to save his family Nevada finds herself in the middle of a gang war. But her own demons are even more menacing, and the Laughing Man is still out there.