When we last saw Sam McCain he had been drafted to fight the war in Vietnam. But Sam's military career ended in boot camp when he was accidentally shot in the head and forced to spend three months in a military hospital to recover.
Sam returns to his hometown of Black River Falls, where he works as a lawyer (and part-time investigator) for the court of the snobbish but amusing Judge Esme Ann Whitney.
Two of Sam's oldest friends are caught up in this same battle. Veteran Steve Donovan brutally belittles and finally savagely beats his old friend veteran Will Cullen when Cullen announces he's joined the anti-war group.
When Cullen is found murdered, the obvious suspect is Steve Donovan, but Sam has serious doubts about the man's guilt. At least three people had reasons to murder Cullen, and Sam begins to suspect he'll discover even more as his investigation heats up, in this dynamic new politically charged mystery novel by a veteran of the form.