When a lonely widow finds the severed head of an unknown young woman on her front porch in rural Swatara Creek, Pennsylvania, Police Chief Aaron Brubaker is baffled. Anxious to conceal his ineptitude from municipal officials, Brubaker (whose experience has been largely limited to policing weekend drunks and speeders) strikes a deal for former chief Daniel "Sticks" Hetrick to come in as consultant. Hetrick, bored in an enforced early retirement, has a broader background, including a stint as a State Police criminal investigator and is eager to prove his ability to one particular supervisor. In tracing the ID of the victim, Hetrick discovers a link to a major theft of rare ornithological books and a trail that leads from Philadelphia to his hometown where he is forced to confront danger and the darker side of his community and its residents. Read all the thrilling Daniel 'Sticks" Hetrick Murder-Mysteries from author J.R. Lindermuth! CRUEL CUTS, SOMETHING IN COMMON, CORRUPTION'S CHILD, BEING SOMEONE ELSE, and PRACTICE TO DECEIVE.