September 1954-Internationally famed nuclear scientist I. C. Frost disappears. Suspected of being too cozy with the Soviets, Frost, who helped build the first atomic bomb during World War II, is thought to be lost in Washington's Olympic Mountains. He is never found.
February 1996-Forty-two years later, Frost's colleague, nuclear physicist Xerxes Raymond "X-ray" Beam, dies and leaves a cryptic poem to his son, Low. Low knows that the poem has something to do with Frost's mysterious disappearance and a strange scientific theory. When he tries to uncover the truth, Low mysteriously disappears from his boat, The Golden Eye, after an adventurous yacht club cruise.
Against the backdrop of the Olympic National Park, the members of the Tubal Cain Institute for Advanced Studies-Low's friends and coworkers-team with law enforcement officials to find Low. The waters are muddied by conflicting concerns about espionage, drug smuggling, and a scientific dispute compounded by the distractions of Bigfoot sightings, an ax murder, and a cougar attack. Low's friends worry for his safety, and it may be only a matter of time before the secrets of the past threaten them all .