No sooner has Tess Monaghan hung her PI-for-hire shingle outside her new office on Butchers Hill when in walks Luther Beale. A notorious vigilante who shot a boy for vandalizing his car five years earlier, Luther has just gotten out of prison and wants to make amends, he says, with the kids who witnessed his crime. He needs to find them first, and that's where Tess comes in. But once she starts snooping, the witnesses start dying. Like it or not, she's gotten herself embroiled in a case that could have devastating repercussions—for Tess herself, the city she treasures, and the young lives a corrupt system heartlessly destroys—as she follows a nasty trail of lies, money, and murder that winds from Baltimore's darkest corners all the way back to Butchers Hill.