When a white baseball player with a taste for hot women and shady deals is found murdered in Tin Hollow, the black side of town in segregated Jefferson, Arkansas, racial tensions rise to the boiling point. With no clues and no one talking, the authorities turn to an outsider to solve the crime—a young, Howard-educated black attorney named Carl Tatum.
At first, the task seems small, the stakes benign. The more Carl discovers, though, the deeper he sinks into a morass of hatred and suspicion the likes of which he never imagined. He finds himself in a hometown he no longer recognizes, a place where truth means nothing in the face of power, and the line between right and wrong, legality and crime, is blurred. Balancing logic and intuition against bigotry, corruption, and wanton violence, his continued investigation runs him afoul of a who’s who of Jefferson's most powerful and dangerous men—a small-minded police chief, a gang of racist local roughnecks, and a vicious bootlegger with a mean streak. Any one of them could be the killer... and any one of them could come after him next. Will Carl be able to solve the crime and cement his future? Or will his be the next body found in the back alleys of Tin Hollow?