A party to celebrate the arrival of George "Mel" Melvin, a Kansas City politician accompanied by his troubled teenage daughter, wealthy wife, even wealthier backer, and mysterious employee, rapidly turns into disaster when Skeet's best friend, Karen Wise, stumbles on a body in Chouteau University’s storage caves and is attacked herself. Skeet gets to Karen in time, but she's still worried by Karen's increasing obsession with the dead man’s drunken claim that her husband’s accidental death years earlier was actually murder.
Skeet already has her hands full, serving as chief of campus police and also as the guardian of fifteen-year-old Brian. Brian's emotional entanglement with Mel's rebellious daughter, as well as Karen's fixation on who she believes to be her husband's murderer, frustrates Skeet’s efforts to keep them both safe and out of trouble. Skeet must struggle against the clock to solve a series of linked murders before she loses Brian forever, and before her best friend winds up in jail—or worse.