Jean Sheridan, a college dean and prominent historian, sets out to her hometown to attend the twenty-year reunion of Stonecroft Academy alumni, where she is to be hored along with six other members of her class. There is something uneasy in the air: one woman in the group about to be feted, Alison Kendall, a beautiful, highpowered Hollywood agent, drowned in her pool during an early-morning swim. Alison is the fifth woman in the class whose life has come to a sudden, mysterious end. Adding to Jean's sense of unease is a taunting, anymous fax she received, referring to her daughter -- a child she had given up for adoption twenty years ago. At the award dinner, Jean is introduced to Sam Deegan, a detective obsessed by the unsolved murder of a young woman who may hold the key to the identity of the Stonecroft killer. Jean does t suspect that among the distinguished people she is greeting is The Owl, a murderer nearing the countdown on his mission of vengeance against the Stonecroft women who had mocked and humiliated him, with Jean as his final victim.