A small-town Police Chief is shot. Although his wound isnt serious, it was inflicted by his sister. It seems an inexplicable act and yet, as the Chief tells his wife, people always have a reason and its what sets things in motion and once things are set in motion, whats going to happen is simply going to happen. A novel of superbly realized characters and compelling dialogue, Those That I Guard explores this notion of inevitability, how we set things in motion, often without intent, and how our acts modify, and in turn are modified by, the lives of others. Our deeds go on and on, another character explains, like spreading ripples on a pond, pregnant with opportunity for unexpected others. As events move toward a crisis, the characters struggle to make sense of how their lives are defined, not only by their own acts or choices, but by their relationships with those around them. Some succeed and some do not, but everything that happens follows from that opening gunshot.