Susan Brooks is rebuilding her life after her husband of forty years dies suddenly from a heart attack. She is struggling with life alone, recovering from her loss, and establishing her new identity as a single person when she receives news from Hawaii, where she owns a condo. Her tenants, Carole and Bart Selwyn, have broken their lease. Unable to decide whether she wants to retain and use the condo, or sell it, Susan leaves her home in Seattle and heads for the Big Island.
Once there, she confronts bittersweet memories of happy times spent with her husband. All her hard-won progress is threatened until she meets Walter Conway, a widower with a shadowy past. He was once a New York City police officer, but he keeps details of his past private as he and Susan forge a relationship and share their experiences with grief.
The mysterious disappearance of Carole Selwyn, and a blood-soaked carpet pad discovered in Susan's condo, draw Susan and Walter into an investigation of a possible murder. Bart, Carole's husband, tangled in a web of his own creation with the local mob, is a major suspect. Attempts to extract retribution from Walter for past deeds threaten Susan's newfound love and her life.