This thriller novel begins with a quest for romance between two former friends who briefly dated while in college. Jennifer Corrington and Paul Mercer become newly enthralled with each other, but their totally different career paths are in play, as well as the distance they live from each other. Jennifer is an attorney in Chicago while Paul’s political aspirations lead him from being a mayor of his hometown all the way to the power halls of Washington, D.C. and Congress. Paul and Jennifer are both intent on following their career paths, but at the same time they want to be with each other. Their strong love leads them to find a way to successfully conquer the distance barrier and get married. Jennifer eventually resigns in Chicago and accepts a new law position in Washington and moves to be with her husband.
Fate intervenes after the death of Paul’s great friend Jerry Webster, requiring both Jennifer and Paul to move back to their hometown of Decatur. Paul accepts a partnership in a financial investment firm that is left equally to him and Jerry’s office manager, Shelley Davis. Jennifer opens her private law office in town.
Soon all hell breaks loose as a woman’s body is found in a shallow grave along the banks of the Sangamon River just west of town. Paul and Jennifer’s marriage begins to crumble after Jennifer receives two envelopes from an unidentified source, all while two detectives, Harold Hanson and Joshua Dean, begin their quest to solve the crime. The detectives embroil both Paul and Jennifer in the investigation, along with Ted Knowles, an ex-husband of the deceased woman. The marriage of Paul and Jennifer finally ends in divorce as trust becomes a major issue for the couple.
As one detail after another regarding the death of Gloria Sharpley comes to light, the detectives make life somewhat miserable for all the principle suspects. Then a mysterious phone call to Detective Joshua Dean leads him and his partner in a totally different direction.