Photojournalist Jean Janes journeys by yacht to Smuttynose, off the coast of New Hampshire, to photograph the site of a sensational axe murder that occurred a century earlier in which two women were killed. She sets out to sail with her novelist husband Thomas, her brother-in-law Rich and Rich's new girlfriend Adaline. Having unearthed an eyewitness account of the murders, Jane learns of new specifics leading up to the deaths. She discovers that in 1873, newlywed Maren Hontvedt emigrated from Norway with her husband John and became confined to a dutiful solitary life. Within months, Maren's sister, brother, and sister-in-law joined them on the island. Soon thereafter, a mysterious lodger moved in--leading to repercussion. As Jean becomes more engrossed in the case, she watches her marriage fall apart. Jealous of Adaline's obvious chemistry with her husband Thomas, Jean begins to unravel. And tension mounts in Jean's world--as well as in Adaline's. As the unsolved mystery oddly begins to parallel events playing out in Jean's life, violence erupts against the backdrop of the raging Atlantic Ocean.


Kathryn Bigelow