Jessie Arnold, Alaskan musher and frequent target of sick serial killers (Dead North, 2001, etc.), is looking forward to helping the construction crew that’s building her new log cabin. Gloating over the freshly dug hole for the basement, however, she sees something distinctly unconstructive in the dirt: a dead body. It’s the corpse of an old man, perhaps James O’Dell, the former owner of her property and the uncle of the man who sold it to Jessie. Though he seems to have died of natural causes, Jessie can’t help wonder why he’s buried in an unmarked grave on his own land. As if old flesh and a new cabin weren’t enough to keep Jessie busy, a recently murdered young woman, apparently the victim of a murderer imitating real-life serial killer Robert Hansen, turns up nearby. When the sister of one of Hansen’s victims shows up at Jessie’s place, hoping to find her long-lost sister, her quest strikes close to home for Jessie. She investigates, leaving general contractor Vic Prentice and his crew—taciturn Dell, flirtatious J.B., and energetic Stevie, along with Jessie’s friend Hank Peterson—to do most of the work themselves. Meantime, someone starts leaving Jessie single red roses. It’s not the kind of thing she’d expect from her old boyfriend, nor from her new love interest, musher Lynn Ehlers. Deadly pursuits over and under a glacier finally disclose the culprit.
Henry delivers the usual suspense and an unusually high body count in this stolid, not very mysterious, outing.