Frank and his family travel to a suburb of Arlington, Virginia, to visit Catherine's mother and father, Justine and Tom Miller. They are joined by Catherine's older sister, Dawn, and her husband, Gil.
Meanwhile, in Hagerstown, Maryland a man named Henry Dion follows a woman from the grocery store and murders her in her own home. Shortly thereafter, Dion is visited by a mysterious figure, a man with pale white skin wearing dark glasses. Dion thanks The Figure for his assistance with helping locate his victim. The Figure tells Dion he wanted the murder committed while Frank was in the area.
Dion drives the corpse to a campground near the Appalachian trial. During his trip, he talks to the corpse, as if communicating with a companion.
Tom Miller tells Frank about his friends, C.R. and Adele Hunziger. Four years earlier, their son, Malcolm, was convicted of murdering his wife. C.R. developed pancreatic cancer, and hasn't long to live. Despite this, he has refused to see his son because of the murder. Their relationship has taken a terrible toll on C.R.'s wife, Adele, who holds out hope that her son may be innocent of the crime. Frank meets with the dying C.R. in hopes of changing his mind, but the elderly Admiral remains steadfast, referring to his son as "diseased garbage."
Adele gives Frank a file folder containing her son's defense records. Frank then travels to Quantico, Virginia, where he meets with three of his former colleagues, Agents Kane, Devlin and Emmerich. An overwhelming amount of physical evidence against Malcolm had led to an easy prosecution victory. Despite this, Frank feels Malcolm does not fit the profile of a man who would murder his own wife.
Frank believes that the perpetrator who murdered the housewife is responsible for the deaths of four other women in the same general area. Despite Catherine's disappointment, Frank leaves his family to investigate a crime scene in a national park where a body was discovered three years earlier, partially covered with leaves.
At the park, Frank meets with Chet, a talkative Virginia ranger. Chet describes how an unidentified hiker had notified police about the body. The hiker was never identified, leading Frank to conclude that the murderer himself contacted police. Later, Dion, pretending to be a passerby, telephones police with the general location of the dead housewife's corpse.
Dion returns home, where he is greeted by his mother, Marie France, an odd, fifty-year-old woman with a French-Canadian accent who talks incessantly.
Frank and his colleagues decide to deliberately bait the killer by informing the press that their suspect is a coward. Infuriated, Dion telephones police. The call is traced to a private residence where Dion works as a nurse. Police identify their suspect, but not before Dion returns home and murders his mother. He is taken into custody. Later, Malcolm Hunziger cleared of murder is transported to his dying father's bedside.
Frank and his family fly back to Seattle. At the airport, Frank carries a sleeping Jordan out to the car as Catherine waits near the baggage carousel to retrieve luggage. Unbeknownst to the Blacks, The Figure watches from afar. When Frank returns to the baggage carousel, Catherine is no where to be found. He discovers an Origami dove that Adele had given to Jordan laying on the ground.
To Be Continued...