As green-eyed, auburn-haired Lynn Stewart drove into Sea Lair, the luxurious, ultramodern house perched above the Pacific, she wondered if there could be some mistake. Why would anyone let such a house to four young nurses—at a rent they could afford? From her roommate, the beautiful redheaded Darlene Hamel, Lynn learns that Sea Lair had been a twenty-third-birthday present from Ida Bradshaw to her granddaughter, Madeline Whitney, a nurse. Only one week after Madeline had moved in, some six months ago, she had drowned in Sea Lair's pool.
The other two nurses who share the house, sensible, well-organized Harriet Paine and kittenish Tess Dumont, have no more idea than Lynn why they were chosen to live at Sea Lair. The one condition of their tenancy is to visit the domineering Mrs. Bradshaw several times a month.
On her first night in the house Lynn has the eerie feeling that she is in some way bound up with Madeline's death. She has a recurrent dream of warning but cannot fathom its meaning. Lynn soon dismisses these as she becomes involved with dark-haired Farley Bradshaw, Mrs. Bradshaw's nephew. Darlene is equally involved with both Duncan Bradshaw, the other nephew, and Ida Bradshaw's young lawyer, John Rogers.
A bizarre crime at Sea Lair shatters their idyllic life. Lynn's premonitions of danger become all too real, and the tangled mystery of Madeline Whitney and Sea Lair leads them all into a desperate struggle against death.