New Year's Eve and the final murder scene of Virginia's bloodiest year since the Civil War takes Scarpetta thirty feet below the Elizabeth River's icy surface. A scuba diver, Ted Eddings, is dead, an investigative reporter who was a favorite at the Medical Examiner's Office. Was Eddings probing the frigid depths of the Inactive Ship Yard for a story, or simply diving for sunken trinkets? And why did Scarpetta receive a phone call from someone reporting the death before the police were notified? With the advent of a second murder - this one hitting even closer to home - the case envelops Scarpetta, her niece Lucy, and police captain Pete Marino in a world where both cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned detective work are critical offensive weapons. Together they follow the trail of death to a well of violence as dark and forbidding as the water that swirled over Ted Eddings.