Sweetheart roses -- the traditional gift of lovers. Yet they had been an important clue in the murder 10 years ago of strikingly beautiful Suzanne Reardon, whose husband, Skip, is now serving a life sentence for that murder.
Kerry McGrath had only begun to work in the county prosecutor's office at the time of the infamous "Sweetheart Murder Case," yet she remembers being impressed by both the ability her new boss, Frank Green, displayed in successfully pursuing the conviction, and the general ineptness of the defense counsel. Skip Reardon's fate was sealed, and Green's reputation made.
Now Kerry herself has gained quite a reputation as a smart and relentless prosecutor, so much so that her name has been given to the governor as a candidate for a new judgeship he is about to award. It is something she wants desperately, not only a chance to enter a level of the legal world open to only a few, but an opportunity to prove to her ex-husband, Bob Kinellen, that she is indeed special.
Then suddenly Kerry's plans are turned upside down. When Kerry's beloved daughter, Robin, is injured in an automobile accident, suffering superficial but nonetheless potentially disfiguring cuts to her face, she is treated by a well-known plastic surgeon. It is in the doctor's office that Kerry first sees the woman with the beautiful face, a face she remembers from the past but can't place. Then, on another visit to the plastic surgeon, she sees the same haunting face again -- but not on the same woman as before!
Suddenly she remembers -- the face those women share was the same face she had seen in the pictures of Suzanne Reardon, the "Sweetheart Murder" victim, killed 10 years ago!
But why would someone be giving these women the face of a dead woman? When Kerry begins to ask questions, it soon becomes clear that almost no one involved -- not her boss, Frank Green; not her ex-husband and his shady "Irish Mafia" client Jimmy Weeks; not her long-time friend and benefactor, State Senator Jonathan Hoover; and most especially not Dr. Smith, the plastic surgeon -- wants to see the case reopened. And it soon becomes apparent that one of them will stop at nothing to prevent it.
Still Kerry persists, aided by Skip Reardon's appeals lawyer, Geoff Dorso, the first man to whom she has felt any real attraction since the breakup of her marriage.
But what she doesn't know is that no matter what she decides, it is already too late -- she is in great, growing danger.