When HMAS Hammersley answers a distress call from Bright Island, Captain Mike Flynn and his crew discover a young woman lying paralysed on the beach. She is conscious but unable to talk, and despite their best efforts they are unable to save her. Thus begins new Executive Officer Lieutenant Kate McGregor's first day aboard a patrol boat, and CO Mike Flynn's obsession with the mystery of Bright Island. Something very odd is happening in connection with the Island. The Federal Police move in to investigate the woman's death, but no-one is talking. Her colleague, the striking Doctor Ursula Morrell, seems to know more than she's letting on, and Mike finds himself drawn to her cool beauty and her vulnerability.