While on a fishing trip to Whittier, Alaska, Alaska State Trooper Aaron McCabe tricks his Tlingit partner, Sergeant Robert Sable, into viewing boats for sale. All the owners and their families had died by carbon monoxide poisoning, the silent killer, either at home or on their boats. By accident, Sable discovers markings, a smiley face and the number 2000, on a boat’s generator exhaust stack. Though pitted by holes and rust, Sable can tell the pipes have been sabotaged. Holes drilled into the sleeping quarters allowed the poisonous gas to flow freely throughout the boat.
As Sable digs into the meaning behind the symbols, he finds the adult male victims were all bullies from Chugach High School’s graduating class of 2000. It appears the killer is exacting revenge for bullying and abuse endured in high school. The killer has left bodies across Alaska, Washington and Idaho, leaving no forensic trace. Worse yet, so far all the deaths have been ruled accidental and numerous suspects had been verbally and physically abused. As the team interviews suspects and bullies, no one wants to help find the killer. The abused feel the killer is a hero finally evening the score. Meager clues lead Sable and McCabe from the streets to the offices of corporate CEOs.
It’s a race against time when Sable realizes his wife, Sue, and Cindy McCabe are Chugach High graduates and at every turn, the killer remains elusive.