It's February 1968, and tense race relations in Memphis are beginning to build into real conflict. The sanitation workers' strike has been going on for almost three weeks, and marches are beginning to turn into riots.
African-American P.I. Smokey Dalton is hired by Laura Hathaway, a young white woman from up north, to look into her mother's reasons for remembering Smokey generously in her will. Smokey reluctantly takes the case, as much to satisfy his own curiosity about these people he never knew as because he needs the work. What he uncovers is a thirty-year-old secret so powerful it will shatter both their lives.
Furthermore, this turning point couldn't come at a worse time for Smokey. As February turns to March, then April, Smokey must watch his city crumble around him and deals with the approaching visit of his childhood friend, now estranged from him, Martin Luther King, Jr. - a visit that turns out to be the very destiny of both men, and the city itself.
This wonderful novel launches a unique and atmospheric series, introducing an appealing character in Smokey Dalton and an equally compelling time period in our history.