The first body was found in Europe. She had once been a beautiful young girl, but with exquisite skill someone had carefully teased the skin entirely away from her body, leaving nothing but a flayed and bloody carcass. A full examination of her ruined body reveals an horrific truth: She had been skinned alive. The second blood-raw corpse turned up in New England. Followed soon after by another, this time a victim of extreme decomposition, a mess of flesh convulsing with maggots. When a mysterious, crumbling painting is implicated in the deaths it seems that the investigating team has resorted to madness. But this rotten painting hides a terrifying family secret...