A killer flees the scene of a homicide at a prestigious Manhattan music school and locks himself in a classroom. Within minutes, the police have him surrounded. Then a scream rings out, followed by a gunshot. The police break down the door. The room is empty. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are brought in to investigate. For the ambitious Sachs, solving the case could earn her a promotion. For the quadriplegic Rhyme, it means relying on his protege to ferret out a master illusionist they've dubbed the conjurer, who baits them with murders that become more diabolical with each crime. As the fatalities rise and the minutes tick down, the pair must move beyond the smoke and mirrors to prevent a terrifying act of vengeance that could become the greatest vanishing act of all.