Children of an abusive father who spiraled into madness and murder, Sarah and Tobias Perkins survived by holding to each other.
As adults, the siblings live and work on the Spirit of the River, the riverboat that saved their mother from their father’s wrath. Yearning to pilot the riverboat herself, Sarah is forced by custom to stand by as her childhood rival, Jeremy Smith, becomes not only pilot but first officer. It is 1910, and the River Board has specific opinions about where a woman belongs—and it is not behind the wheel of a riverboat.
Tragedy strikes when Théâtre d’Illusion—a traveling theater extravaganza—comes aboard to entertain passengers during the journey downriver. One of the performers vanishes, and then one by one, the passengers and crew members on board theSpirit of the River fall victim to a mysterious and deadly illness.
Plagued by the voice of his murderous father, Tobias finds peace only during overnight drinking binges. But when he awakes each day to a trail of death and destruction, he begins to fear his father’s spirit has possessed him. As the sins of the past threaten to destroy the future, Sarah races against time to stop a vengeful killer. Will she bring the Spirit of the River and the surviving passengers home, or is all hope of escape an illusion?