Jack McMorrow was a veteran reporter for the New York Times before he made a significant change and left the big city for life in the woods of Maine. Now he's back, briefly, to interview about a job as a stringer for the Times, working from Maine. It's supposed to be a quick trip--in and out overnight--but Jack takes the time to have a drink with an old friend named Butch Casey. Casey is an ex-cop whose wife was brutally murdered. Jack covered the story for the Times, and Casey has never gotten over the loss. He's also never forgiven the D.A., John Fiore, who failed to prosecute the case aggressively.
Jack and Casey have a couple of drinks and when they go their separate ways, Casey seems to be in good spirits. But the next morning, before Jack can get out of town and back to Maine, the cops are at his hotel room door. Casey has been arrested for murdering Fiore, who is now a very popular mayor, and the cops want to know if Jack was involved.
Before long, the city is in an uproar over the death of a beloved mayor and the press is all over Jack, speculating about his involvement in all of this. Beyond that, Jack discovers that, before allegedly stabbing the mayor to death, Casey left an envelope for Jack with the hotel desk. In it are papers regarding an investigation that Casey was making on his own and that he now begs Jack to pursue.
Jack feels an obligation to his long-time friend, but it quickly becomes apparent that some very powerful and dangerous people do not want Jack poking into their affairs. As readers of this very good series learned a long time ago, Jack McMorrow does not scare easily and he can be extremely stubborn when on the trail of a good story, especially one that involves an injustice that needs to be made right. In this case, though, Jack may have taken on more than he can handle and the odds that he will survive long enough to make it back home to Maine are not looking good.
This is another very good story from Gerry Boyle, who seems to know New York City as well as he clearly knows the backwoods of Maine. The tension is palpable from beginning to end and once the action ramps up, it's impossible to put this book down. A very good read.