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The onset of summer brings steamy weather to East Tennessee and the Body Farm, Dr. Bill Brockton's human-decomposition research facility at the University of Tennessee. But even Brockton is about to get more heat than he's bargained for when a former student asks him to help prove that her sister's death was not suicide, but murder.
Brockton's quick consulting trip takes a long, harrowing detour to the Florida panhandle and the ruins of the North Florida Boys' Reformatory, a notorious juvenile detention facility that met a fiery end more than forty years ago. Guided by the discovery of a diary kept by one of the school's young "students," he finds a cluster of shallow graves, all of them containing the bones of boys who met violent deaths. As Brockton and his team close in on the truth, they find skeletons in some surprisingly prominent closets . . . and they learn that the ghosts of the past pose perilous consequences in the present.