When eight-year-old Jennifer Follett doesn't return home from school one day, the rigidly ordered lives of Edmund and Caroline Follett - a power couple with an expensive house outside Albany, New York - are suddenly upended. First comes the waiting; next comes the dread; finally, they are forced to think the unthinkable, as a wayward twelve-year-old boy admits that he watched from the woods as their daughter, whom they expected to board the school bus at the bottom of the driveway, got into a black sedan instead. Although the Folletts' eccentric young nanny, Hannah, is less than forthcoming about why she let Jennifer out of her sight, police investigators soon begin to suspect another husband-and-wife pair: Gerald and Claire Sandoval, casual acquaintances of the Folletts who own a black LTD. But why would this model churchgoing couple kidnap a young girl? While they grow more and more convinced that the Sandovals are involved, the police are unable to find much evidence to back up their suspicions. Frustrated by the law's presumed-innocent safeguards, the Folletts determine to do whatever is necessary to get Jennifer back. Meanwhile, the well-meaning but incautious investigators go far beyond the call of duty in their desire to solve the crime. In their blind pursuit, the search for Jennifer draws them deep into the upstate New York woods and into a chilling physical and psychological confrontation with evil.