Sheriff Cord Arbutten's wife is dead, an apparent suicide, but his grown son claims she was murdered--by the Sheriff. Investigative reporter Allie Grainger gets involved when her best friend Sheryl, a Sheriff's Deputy, begs her to help. Repeated clashes with the Sheriff's son only make Allie more determined to discover the truth. Rand sets out to block Allie at every turn. When anger doesn't work, he turns on the charm, charm that gets to Allie a lot more than she's willing to admit.
Sidney Finch, a Deputy who idolizes the Sheriff, doesn't use charm to impede her investigation. He uses naked threats. Allie has to ask herself who he's trying to protect--the Sheriff or himself? She isn't sure how far Sidney will go to stop her, but since he has a hair-trigger temper and carries a gun, she absolutely doesn't want to find out.
Then Rand Arbutten agrees to work with Allie instead of against her. She isn't sure of his motives, but she'll take any help she can get. With her dead aunt whispering encouragement in her ear and Sheryl egging her on, Allie sets out to discover what really happened the day Jean Arbutten died.