In the backwoods of Maine, Brady encounters a strange, racist conspiracy.
Brady Coyne is far from Boston when he stumbles across his latest case. He's in the beautiful Maine countryside, fishing and spending time with his beloved Alexandria Shaw, when he meets Charlotte Gillespie on the side of the road. A beautiful middle-aged black woman, she's walking into town with her dog in her arms. The puppy is near dead, having been poisoned — probably by the same person who spray-painted the swastika on Charlotte's property. After giving her a lift into town, Brady tries to find a way to help, but before Charlotte can explain her problems, she disappears.
In unfamiliar territory, with a vanished client and rumors swirling around him, Brady tries to come to grips with the shadowy presence that has rotted this pleasant little town from the inside out. There are dangerous men in these woods — and anyone who would poison a puppy won't hesitate to kill a man.