In this psychological thriller, Dr. Alex Delaware is asked by a fellow doctor to evaluate the son of his current patient. The patient, a gorgeous but emotionally fragile television actress loves her son, but is uncaring of the rest of society, continually showing up at various homes, banging on doors or digging in gardens.
Dr, Delaware evaluates the son and determines he is not only in a good place emotionally, but is highly intelligent as well. He sees no reason to separate the child from the mother and says so to his fellow doctor.
Time passes and he moves on to other clients and other issues. After five years he receives a call from a behavioral home regarding one of their patients. The actress. He learns his colleague has died and his name was in the records, which is what prompted his involvement.
He goes to the home and finds it to be less than adequate. He moves the actress to another home, but can’t get information from her or from any records what has happened to the son.
His search for the son is interrupted, when he learns the actress has walked out of the home. He gets help from a detective friend in the search for the actress as well as her son.
The actress is found dead in the gardens of a well to do socialite.
What started out as a normal evaluation of a child, turns into a nightmare of an investigation, as it is learned the actress ingested poisonous plants, and two housekeepers from the same area have turned up missing.
This jaunt into the mind of Jonathan Kellerman involves mind boggling twists and surprises as the detective, Delaware and other allies continue to search for clues in the death of the actress, and the location of the son.