Harry Jacobsen is a disgraced failure of a foreign correspondent. Fired from a respected New York City paper, he takes refuge as editor for a small weekly in a quiet town on the Chesapeake. It’s not quiet for long. A trio of children come across the sunken hulk of a black man’s racing boat, lost thirty years ago. The captain, Walker John Douglas, had crashed his vessel after killing two white women and burning down half the town in a period of racial unrest.
In the third Marc Kadella legal mystery, an adorable—and photogenic—two-year-old girl is kidnapped, and, when her remains are found, her twenty-two-year-old widowed mother Brittany is charged with her murder. But before she can even be charged she’s been tried and convicted by the media, at the center of which is Melinda Pace, a cynical, mostly-functioning alcoholic Minneapolis television personality with a “legal news” show called The Court Reporter.