An underground chamber is exposed in a seedy, dilapidated house with sagging trim and peeling paint...In the dark cellar, a ritualistic display is revealed. A human skull rests on a cauldron, surrounded by slain chickens and bizarre figurines. Beads and antlers dangle overhead. Called to the scene is forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan. Bony architecture suggests that the skull is that of a young, black female. But how did she die? And when? Then, just as Tempe is working to determine post-mortem interval, another body is discovered: a headless corpse carved with Satanic symbols. As citizen vigilantes, blaming Devil-worshippers, begin a witch-hunt, intent on revenge, Tempe struggles to keep her emotions in check. But the truth she eventually uncovers proves more shocking than even she could have imagined...