Murder. Blackmail. Old secrets that refuse to stay buried. Summer is deadly in the mountain community of Mason County, Virginia.
Deputy Sheriff Tom Bridger and veterinarian Rachel Goddard are caught in a maelstrom of lies that stretch far into the past and suspicions that threaten the future.
Cam and Meredith Taylor, who run the county’s failing newspaper, are murdered within hours of one another, and Rachel is dragged into the case because she heard—but didn’t see—Cam’s murder. The Taylors arrived in Mason County as volunteers in the 1960s War on Poverty, and they stayed on, making both loyal friends and bitter enemies with their outspoken activism. By rescuing the small, bankrupt newspaper, they gained the wary respect of the local establishment, but when it started going under Cam proved he would go to any lengths, including blackmail, to save it. Did his pressure tactics backfire and get him and his wife killed?
The victims’ daughter is Tom’s former girlfriend, Lindsay. She returns home to see justice done—and to win Tom back by pushing Rachel out of his life. To further complicate the situation, the prime suspect is a newcomer, cartoonist Ben Hern, the son of another 1960s activist with dubious ties to the victims, and a childhood friend of Rachel’s. She wants to believe Ben is innocent, but when she learns a disturbing secret about him she wonders what else her old friend is hiding. At the same time, Rachel frantically tries to hide her own secrets from Lindsay’s probing.
Torn apart by divided loyalties, with the killer targeting Rachel and the community clamoring for an arrest, both Tom and Rachel must decide who they can trust before it’s too late.