In 1965, a young Special Forces officer, originally from Chicago, and a young woman from North Carolina meet by chance. Her father was wounded at Pearl Harbor aboard the USS Nevada but fought the duration of World War II aboard another battleship. By the time that they meet, Mike has served in South Korea and fought in South Vietnam, where he was wounded and decorated for valor. By that time, however, Gloria already had lost her father while she still was in her early teens. After some initial difficulties, eventually they are married while Mike is an assistant professor at West Point. They go on to have three children; and Mike is stationed in Kansas, South Korea (again), Washington state, and Alaska, where he commands an infantry battalion. Finally, he is assigned to advise a National Guard brigade headquartered in New York City, but the story suddenly unravels. Mike takes ill while in New York and is hospitalized, but his illness appears to have occurred much earlier and during a different assignment there. Their marriage and the other duty assignments that followed apparently were the product of Mike’s vivid imagination. Then after a prolonged, frequently comatose hospital stay, he quietly dies in his sleep, leaving a complex mystery to be solved. And the mystery only becomes more complicated in the months that follow, forcing the investigation into his death and a few graves to be reopened.