Geologist Frankie MacFarlane and P.I. Philo Dain, just back from Afghanistan, are packing for an R&R trip to a cooler clime when Philo’s Aunt Heather is murdered in her empty Tucson mansion. Her husband, wealthy developer Derek Dain, is the prime suspect. The day before, Heather had left town with the Dain coin collection, worth millions. Now it's missing. Though Philo and his uncle haven’t spoken in years, Philo and Frankie agree to backtrack Heather on a quest that takes them from the sun-baked Tucson Basin to the foggy San Francisco Peninsula. Among California’s fault-scarred hills they uncover painful secrets from Philo’s past—and clues to a mysterious chess set worthy of kings, long protected by one family and long coveted by another. A treasure worth killing for—but who will survive to claim it?