Boston attorney Brady Coyne has just received a call from Jimmy D'Ambrosio, a Democratic party kingmaker and acting campaign manager for prosecutor Ellen Stoddard, who's running for a Senate seat. She's got a real shot at becoming the state's first woman to hold the post, except for one thing: her husband Albert, a college professor and Brady's occasional fishing partner, has been acting strangely, and now he's disappeared altogether.
D'Ambrosio wonders if Albert's having a romantic dalliance with a coed, or if some other scandal is threatening to break. Either way, the campaign can't be involved, so he wants Coyne to investigate and keep any threatening skeletons locked firmly away in the closet. But after Coyne uncovers evidence of a murder, D'Ambrosio claims client-attorney privilege and threatens to have him disbarred if he leaks a word of the case to anyone. But Brady refuses to drop the case, and follows the trail to the little town of Southwick, New Hampshire, where an idyllic façade hides a terrible secret. And as the campaign draws to a climax, it seems that Brady Coyne has just been elected most likely to be the next to die.