At the end of a family vacation on Cape Cod, Emily Parker makes a last minute trip to the grocery store...and doesn't return. As the hours pass, her mother and husband, Will, grow increasingly worried. By the next morning, panic has set in. Missing signs are posted around the community. Will drives to the local police station to report Emily missing.
The investigation is helped along by veteran FBI profiler John Geary, who happens to overhear details of the case and is struck by similarities with a cold case he is researching for a book he hopes to write. Geary suspects that a serial killer has surfaced to reenact a seven-year ritual and fears that, if he's right, before the fifth day is over one of the Parker children will be abducted as well...and the week will end in tragedy. He puts his research project aside and leaves retirement to work with the police in finding Emily before it's too late.
Over the course of five grueling days, clues are sought and leads are followed as the minutes progress ominously toward the killer's deadline. Trusted friends begin to look like monsters while the true evil is nearby yet goes unnoticed until it is almost too late.