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Raymond Hogan is running for re-election for the Kindle County Prosecutor's office. His challenger is Nico Della Guardia, who is winning the race.
Rusty Sabach is Hogan's deputy prosecutor and the narrator of the story.
Caarolyn Polhemus, a prosecutor in Hogan's office, is found raped and murdered. Since Hogan is busy with his campaign, he asks Rusty to handle the investigation.
As Rusty continues his narrative, we learn how uncaring and cold his wife, Barbara, had become. When she finds that Rusty will be running the investigation into Carolyn's murder, she admits that she knew that Rusty and Carolyn were seeing each other and she asks Rusty to leave the house.
Through flashbacks, we follow Rusty's involvement with Carolyn and how she became the dominant one in the affair. However, the affair ended abruptly and soon Rusty was seeing Carolyn accompanied by Hogan.
This section of the novel ends in a very cinimatic and suspenseful scene in Hogan's office. Hogan has lost the election and informs Rusty that he, Hogan will be vacating his office almost immediately. An arrogant Tommy Motto, Nico's right hand man tells Rusty that he has evidence that Rusty was at Carolyn's home on the night she was murdered and that Motto would be charging Rusty with the crime.
The second half of the novel revolves around the trial which is handled by Sandy Stern, who becomes one of Rusty's few friends, along with Dan Lipranzer. Others, who worked with Rusty, shun him.
As the court case comes to an end, there is an additional seventy pages that deal with what happened to the characters after the trial. I felt that this segment was overly lengthy and slowed down the effect of the story. Otherwise, this was an extremely readable novel with visual court scenes that will linger in the reader's memory.