This is part two of the four part serialized novel, The Dead Reckoner. In the first part, Ruth discovered that her son was trapped inside Polymath with a computer that believes it can program human behavior. She finally contacts him, only to find that he is standing over a body and holding a gun. In the second part, we find out what happened inside Polymath and how the deadly Sorter program has arranged forces both inside and outside the building to destroy Ruth, her son, and everyone else. We also learn what happened in the past to bring each person to this moment. What did John's father do to his sister while they were making ends meet in a hard scrabble industrial suburb of Boston? How did Ruth's husband die and what did it have to do with the mobster Yancy,whom we met in the first chapter of part one?