Escaping a proposal of marriage from Sheriff Paul Davidson, Anna Pigeon takes a post as a temporary supervisory ranger on remote Garden Key in Dry Tortugas National Park, a grouping of tiny islands in a natural harbour seventy miles off Key West. This island paradise has secrets it would keep, not just in the present, but in shadows from its gritty past, when it served as a prison during the Civil War, and for the Lincoln assassination conspirators afterward.
Here, on this last lick of the United States, in a giant crumbling fortress, Anna has little company besides the occasional sunburned tourist or unruly shrimper. When her sister, Molly, sends her a packet of letters from a great-great-aunt who lived at the fort with her husband, a career soldier, Anna’s fantasy life is filled with visions of this long-ago time. But a mysterious boat explosion and the discovery of unidentifiable body parts keeps Anna anchored to the present, and she soon finds crimes of yesterday and today closing in on her. A tangled web that was woven before she arrived threatens her sanity and her life.
Cut off from the mainland by miles of water, poor phone service, and sketchy radio contact, Anna must find answers and weather a storm that rivals the hurricanes for which the islands are famous.