Jillian Talbot is an author. Her boyfriend of ten months is Nate Levin. A few weeks before Valentine’s Day, she receives letters from an anonymous man who calls himself Valentine, she assumes this is Nate’s doing, but he quickly denies it. This continues for a bit, until she decides to go to Barney Fleck, an undercover detective, for help. Barney helps her in trying to figure out whose doing this.
Jillian first suspects her step father, but soon rules it out and finds a new suspect, Victor Dimorta, who she met in college. The book cycles through different perspectives, including the perspective of Victor and her neighbor who just so happens to be spying on her.?Throughout the book we get snippets of how Victor Dimorta, Valentine, kills these girls called the elements. Back in college, the elements and Jillian played a prank on Victor Dimorta on Valentine’s Day, which led to him seeking out revenge by killing them.
He successfully gets rid of Sharon, earth, by killing her then burying her, on Valentine’s Day. He kills Belinda, wind, by throwing her 300ft off a ski cliff, on Valentine’s Day. Then he kills Cass, fire, by burning her cabin down, on Valentine’s Day.?Cass’s brother, David, was devastated by her death. Everyone else in his life had deserted him and his boyfriend had recently died due to the fact that he was previously sick. He vowed to himself to get revenge on Victor Dimorta for killing his sister and set off to find Jillian, who he knew would be Victor’s next victim. He watched Jillian from the house across from hers and spied on her and Nate.?We later find out that Nate Levin is an anagram for Valentine, Victor Dimorta’s persona.
We also find out that he has used anagrams for his other fake names when killing the other elements. Victor disguises himself as Nate for ten months to get closer to Jillian and be one step closer to killing her. With Jillian being the last and final element, water, he plans to drown her, on Valentine’s Day, in order to complete his killing spree and have his revenge.
But little does he know he’s being watched by David from across the street.?In the final chapter, Victor and David both follow Jillian to a writers camp. Victor gets ahold of her and reveals that he isn’t really Nate. He chases her and knocks her out then carries her to the lake, but before he can throw her unconscious body in, David catches up and shoots him, killing him and knocking both Jillian and Victor into the water. He dives in to save Jillian and they end up making it out safely, ending Victor’s killing streak and putting a stop to the murders.