It’s February along the shores of Northern Lake Michigan. A heavy blanket of snow has been building up in the woods since early November and the inland lakes have had a solid covering of ice since December. Shelf ice, stacked ten or fifteen feet in places, has been building on Lake Michigan for weeks. Sheriff Ray Elkins, responding to a late-night home invasion call, discovers the brutal murder of a local artist at her home deep in the woods. Elkins works to understand the complex lives and relationships as he pursues a brilliant and brutal adversary.