Native American artist Blue Mountain Cat has a style described as "Andy Warhol meets Jonathan Swift in Indian country." When he's murdered at an exclusive showing in a posh art museum, Detective John Thinnes has no shortage of suspects. Targets of the artist's satire included a greedy developer, a beautiful Navajo woman, and black-market antiquities dealers. And some of the museum's patrons were outraged by his work. Even the victim's wife merits investigation: The death of Blue Mountain Cat sends her into shock but doesn't keep her name off the long list of suspects.
Thinnes drafts psychiatrist Jack Caleb to guide him through the terra incognita of the art world, and the investigation turns up a desperate director, a savage critic, a married mistress, and shady dealings by the artist's partner. Adding to the tension is pressure on the detective to close the high-profile case. Thinnes and Caleb connect several apparently unrelated deaths as they follow leads from Wisconsin to Chicago's South Side and the mystery's explosive conclusion.