A new building site in Manhattan uncovers thirty-six bodies buried since the late 1800s. The developer and the mayor are trying to overrule any attempts to delay construction on the old crime scene. But FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast notices something important: all the victims were killed by removing their spines. This exactly matches the M.O. of a serial killer the FBI are currently pursuing. What is the connection between the two cases, 130 years apart?