Dylan Thomas, a former Maine State Police officer who obtained a private investigator license to support himself while attending law school, receives a phone call from his sister, Caitlin, telling him that her youngest daughter, Sandra, has gone missing.
Caitlin's husband, Oreille Dufore, is the wealthy heir to a large Maine logging and land development corporation. Dylan's relationship with his brother-in-law has been strained at best. However, in times of crisis, Dylan knows that a family must stick together.
Dylan's investigation reveals that an itinerant handyman, Felicien Paradis, and his girlfriend, Claudette Beaupre, have taken the child with the intention of selling her in an adoption-for-money scheme.
Dylan follows the abductors from northern Maine through central Maine and ultimately to Boston. In Boston, he gets assistance from Boston Police Detective Shawna O'Reilly, and together they learn of an organization called The Child Exchange. The Exchange specializes in obtaining young children for an exclusive and wealthy clientele who are rich enough to circumvent the legal adoption process. As time runs out, Dylan and Shawna turn up the heat on disreputable lawyers and some of Boston's hardest criminals.