Chris Maple, a news photographer, loses her job and decides to freelance in Laguna Beach, California. While exploring the town she casually takes pictures of a wedding party, including the bridal couple and some sinister-looking guests. When the newlyweds disappear and the groom is murdered, Chris realizes that her pictures may hold clues to the crime. She enlists the aid of her ex-husband, a police lieutenant, to solve the case. Her efforts result in an attack on her own life, but she persists until the threads of the mystery unravel. Green politics is a subplot of the story, together with the pervasive influence of money and power. Chris accepts an assignment with a local environmental group fighting a proposed development, only to find that the project and the murder are connected. Good and bad characters shift roles and things are t always what they seem.