In Summit, Utah, celebrated children's author Olivia Lake and her close friend, JC, attend a fete hosted by Michael O'Connor, a wealthy financier and neighbor who delivered seed money for Mosaic, a children's art workshop that's Olivia pet project. Bartending at the party is Joel, an aspiring artist who catches Olivia's wandering eye. Deciding to mentor the handsome young man, Olivia offers him lodging and a workspace at her home, a remote estate with picturesque views of the countryside. Michael and his associate, Tom Davis, are extremely interested in buying Olivia's property, and when she balks, they enlist a con man, Eric Neill, to convince her to sell.
While criticizing Joel for not telling her about his girlfriend Laura, Olivia finds herself emotionally drawn to Eric, who suggests they meet with Michael and Tom about financing an expansion of Mosaic into other cities. Eric's secretive employer chafes over Eric's slow progress in getting Olivia to sell her property, and is floored when Eric announces he's quitting the scam and will come clean to Olivia. It's a decision that triggers a chain of events that ends with Olivia vanishing on New Year's Day--and Eric targeted as the prime suspect in her disappearance.
Alan Pape, a longtime veteran of the police department, is hired by Tom Davis to run a lucrative private-security operation in Summit. After a break in Olivia's case, Eric's sister Petra queries Summit police officer Nate Henry about alibis, and heads to Louisiana to track down Joel, who's relocated there with Laura. Reluctantly, he agrees to return to Summit with Petra, and ends up scouring the local bars in search of a mysterious intruder.
Joel's New Year's Eve whereabouts come under increased scrutiny after his bar buddy Frank admits to Nate and Petra that their alibi was bogus. A visit to a New Year's reveler clears up one issue, but the timing of another remains unclear.
Though he has suspicions that the wrong man is in prison, Nate faces major obstacles as he tries to get a subpoena on a closed case. Eric is dogged by allegations stemming from an earlier mysterious death. An increasingly paranoid Joel weighs his options as evidence against him mounts.
Finale. Determined to uncover the missing pieces of the Summit murder puzzle, Petra turns up the heat on JC, Alan and Tom while probing the mining history of several interconnected Summit properties. After getting the cold shoulder from the lead prosecutor on a closed case, she finds herself treading on dangerous ground as the truth--or what she hopes is the truth--is finally revealed.
Innovative but muddled "choose your own adventure" whodunit.
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