Life hasn't been kind to Haley. In his early 30's, a database developer, and once a covert CIA operative, he has an alter ego who emerges when violence threatens. A half Irish, half Jewish orphan, he retreated to a workaholic existence after his wife died in an accident. Then Haley met Montana-born Episcopalian, Willi Mayers, a master at verbal jousting, able to eat enormous quantities of food without gaining weight. As they develop a Cultural Landscapes System for the National Park Service, a cryptic note appears with the message 3912. More notes appear, and Haley's formerly submissive alter ego becomes aggressive. In Montana, Haley tries to effect a rapprochement between Willi and her father, only to return home to face a personal tragedy that frees his alter ego to take vengeance on a merciless killer. His future with Willi at stake, Haley must confront a violent adversary from his past, while deciphering the true meaning and intent of the notes.