When seventeen-year-old runaway, Bram Cross, is threatened by a vicious derelict with a machete, he wants to run but can't. An odor on the homeless man triggers a seizure that catapults Bram to another time. He collapses to the ground with his mind under siege—forced to relive the worst day of his life.
Bram wakes up next to the corpse of a homeless man in the shadow of a haunted bridge in Washington DC. His only friend has left him behind to face murder charges and Bram is arrested for a shooting he didn't do. In desperation he calls the only man he trusts—someone who saved his life five years ago.
Dallas fire fighter Sam Chadwick receives a frantic call for help from a kid he's never forgotten. He first set eyes on Bram as a twelve-year-old boy, the sole survivor of a horrific tragedy. His mother, Evangeline, had shot her three children before she took her own life. Sam held Bram in his arms as he clung to life. Although the kid survived, he would never be the same. Sam has only one friend in DC he would trust with Bram's life—Ryker Townsend.
FBI Profiler Ryker Townsend is a rising star at Quantico, but he has a dark secret. When he sleeps, he sees nightmarish visions through the eyes of the dead, the last images imprinted on their retinas. After he agrees to help Sam Chadwick with a teenage runaway, he senses the real damage in Bram Cross. Ryker must reenact the boy's terror in painful detail—and connect to the dead—to uncover buried secrets in the splintered psyche of a broken child.