All the scenes from the book are set in the town of Trent. The novel starts when the family dog,"Swannie," is found dead. Her owner, Renne, believes that her pet was eaten by a predator. She tells her daughter, Thierry, who heads an investigation that uncovers a plot which has ties to both the town and the criminal actions. It turns out that the story is about a young American girl named Christine de La Grange, who works as a clerk at a local bank.