Penns River rarely sees two homicides in a year. Two in little over a week is almost too much for the police force to handle. The assigned detectives — Ben Dougherty, a former MP and Penns River native, and retired Pittsburgh cop Willie Grabek — find links to bind the two cases, but their investigation is complicated by the involvement of private investigator Daniel Rollison, a retired spy on a suspect's payroll who is really working for himself.
Pittsburgh mob boss Mike Mannarino also lives in Penns River and has more than a passing interest in the case. The two cops' savvy competes with the limitations of their small town's resources and the interference of Rollison and Mannarino in a story that shows identifying a killer and proving it are separate things.