When Lincoln's estranged cousin Arthur Rhyme is arrested on murder charges, the case is perfect -- too perfect. Forensic evidence from Arthur's home is found all over the scene of the crime, and it looks like the fate of Lincoln's relative is sealed. At the behest of Arthur's wife, Lincoln grudgingly agrees to investigate the case. Soon Lincoln and his partner Amelia Sachs uncover a string of similar murders and rapes with perpetrators claiing innocence and ignorance -- despite ironclad evidence at the scenes of the crime. Rhyme's team realizes this "perfect" evidence may actually be the result of masterful identity theft and manipulation. An information service company -- Strategic Systems Datacorp -- seems to have all of the answers but is reluctant to help the police. Still, Rhyme and Sachs begin uncovering a chilling pattern of vicious crimes and cover-ups, and their investigation points to one master criminal, whom they dub "522." When "522" learns the identities of the crime fighting team, the hunters become the hunted.