On a quiet afternoon in the park, four-year-old Joey Warner plays in the sandbox, when a stranger approaches looking for his runaway dog. While Joey’s mom, Crystal, talks on her cell phone, the stranger convinces the child to help search. By the time Crystal turns around, her son has disappeared. Yet her reaction is odd, not what one would expect from a distraught mother. Is Crystal Warner somehow involved in her son’s abduction? Meanwhile, on a cattle ranch outside Houston, Texas Ranger Sarah Armstrong assesses a symbol left on the hide of a slaughtered longhorn, a figure that dates back to a forgotten era of sugarcane plantations and slavery. Soon other prizewinning bulls are butchered on the outskirts of the city, each bearing a new but similar drawing. Before long, the investigations converge at the same time a catastrophic hurricane threatens. One of Sarah’s fellow rangers, a close friend, is murdered, and the clock ticks, as the storm moves in. If Sarah doesn’t act quickly, the child will die. Finally, as dangerous winds and torrential rains pummel the city, Sarah deciphers the clues and is forced to risk her life to save little Joey Warner.