The suicide of Ruth Markham is a mystery to Mae Osborne. Ruth was wealthy, in good health, and looking forward to retirement. Almost as puzzling is the bequeath of a strangely shaped piece of land on the bluffs of the Mississippi River. When Janie Jackson, a young attorney, informs Mae that Ruth has left her the property, she omits that Ruth's last act before her suicide was an attempt to stop the land from going to Mae.
Unsure herself how the land is now in Mae's name, Janie offers to show Mae and her grandson, Andy, the land. Without understanding why, Janie dreads going to the property and asks Casey, the niece of her office partner, to accompany her.
Andy is pleased to spend the summer with Mae while his parents are out of the country, but both he and Casey find Janie's behavior bizarre and irrational.
Too late, they discover Janie's dread is based on fact and Mae understands her friend's suicide. Only Casey's uncle, Craig, understands they are lost and in peril.