Faye Longchamp and her Native American husband Joe Wolf Mantooth are working near the mouth of the Mississippi, researching archaeological sites soon to be flooded by oil. The Deepwater Horizon disaster has morphed her run-of-the-mill contract job into a task that might swamp her fledgling consulting business.
Then her injured babysitter leaves Faye to work with a toddler underfoot. Thankfully, Amande, a bright and curious teen lives nearby with her eccentric grandmother. But when the girl's grandmother and her no-account uncle are murdered, Amande's prospects worsen. The girl has but two known relatives, both battling over her small inheritance: a raggedy houseboat, a few shares of stock, and a hurricane-battered island that's not even inhabitable.
Pirate-era silver coins are found and disappear. A murderer is on the loose, and as the oil slick looms, Faye can see that Louisiana is still being plundered...