Since serial killer Gretchen Lowell went on the run, following Detective Archie Sheridan's latest near-fatal encounter with her, the city of Portland has descended into Beauty Killer hysteria. Even fan sites have sprung up online, where admirers of Gretchen can congregate to discuss their heroine.
When a spleen is discovered at a local rest stop, Detective Henry Sobol is at first sceptical it is Gretchen's work. It is only when he sees the rest stop's wall -covered in hundreds of tiny red hearts that Henry realises its time to contact Archie . . .
Archie Sheridan has spent the last few month's in the city's psychiatric hospital, battling with his addiction to painkillers and his strange obsession with the woman who tortured him.
But soon he, along with the Beauty Killer taskforce and journalist Susan Ward, find themselves investigating a new spate of killings -when bodies start to turn up at local beauty spots, their eye-balls removed. Could this be the work of a copy-cat? Or has Gretchen really returned? One thing is certain, whoever is behind these brutal murders, they will do whatever it takes to get to Archie . . .