Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity --- the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children's advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system for which she works.
When the body of a woman is discovered in a local park --- with her bewildered four-year-old son sitting beside her --- veteran social worker Ellen Moore is called in to assist in the police investigation. Positioned beneath a statue of Leto, the goddess of motherhood, the crime is weighted with meaning and, Ellen discovers, remarkably similar to one from a decade past.
In the midst of a sudden spring snowstorm, an unknown man armed with a gun walks into an elementary school classroom. As tension mounts with each passing minute, the hidden fears and grudges of the small town are revealed as the people of Broken Branch race to uncover the identity of the stranger who holds their children hostage.