Angustias, Puerto Rico, 1990.
Even a tropical paradise can have its little murders.
Luis Gonzalo, sheriff of the small town of Angustias in Puerto Rico's central mountains, knows all there is to know about the people he has worked to protect for more than two decades. He knows that Elena Maldonado was beaten as a child. He knows that she was beaten as a wife. But when she winds up dead on the same day that she brings her newborn home from the hospital, he doesn’t know who has killed her.
Elena's drunken husband seems like the obvious culprit, but after a grisly attack in front of the Angustias police station, potential suspects come out of the woodwork and multiply. The case is further complicated when someone breaks into the crime scene, but no one can figure out what, if anything, was taken.
Before the case is solved, Gonzalo and his deputies will be hard pressed to be certain that justice has been served, and the town of Angustias will be changed forever. A man will die in Gonzalo's arms, a trusted friend will be brutalized, and a fortune worth millions will change hands. Throughout all the turmoil, Gonzalo will keep two special people in mind: Elena Maldonado, the young woman whose life of constant abuse the sheriff had been unable to salvage, and her child, so soon left motherless.