P.I. Charlie Parker is living in Maine with his lover, Rachel. She is happily pregnant with Charlie's child.
Charlie is asked by Elliot Norton, an old friend from Charlie's days on the New York PD, to help on a case in Charlotte, South Carolina. Elliot is defending a man who is black and accused of the rape and murder of his white girlfriend. She also happens to be the daughter of one of the richest men in the area. Elliot is afraid that his client will be taken out of jail and murdered before he comes to trial.
Charlie is to help protect the man and gather evidence on his innocence.
Charlie is joined by his friends Angel and Louis. They learn that the man's family and the girl's family have connections back to the Civil War days and that her family often mistreated their slaves, In addition, two women from the man's family have been missing and part of the investigation unearths what happened to them.
John Connolly is an excellent storyteller who knows the way to his readers hearts and mind. There is enough legend and history of racial tensions in the South so that the reader's attention is immediately captivated. In addition, the story follows the action in Connolly's last novel, "The Killing Kind" where a Rev. Faulkner was arrested for killing the Aroostook Baptists. Now that man awaits trial and some of the right wing men in Charlestown are funding his defense.
The novel is skillfully plotted and is a first rate thriller.