With the Winter Olympics approaching, Salt Lake City is trembling with excitement-literally. A real life earthquake has torn fissures into the city's preparations, and now forensic geologist Em Hansen has a rare opportunity to get some field work in before her home is overrun by tourists and athletes.
But murder can spoil anybody's plans, and when the body of the state geologist turns up in the wake of the 'quake, the FBI enlists Em's unique expertise to sort through the rubble. When the case takes her into the byzantine bureaucracy of the city's building codes, Em runs headfirst into an assortment of intimidating suspects and corrupt government officials-and an uncomfortable clue that points to her own boyfriend, Ray. On shaky ground as her personal and professional lives collide, Em must use fascinating geological science to capture a murderer before her whole life come crumbling to the ground.