Small-town corruption and the search for home lie at the core of Schulz's first novel. Three people have recently moved to the sleepy California community of Rivertown, believing that small-town life will help them reclaim lost portions of their lives. Carroll Howser has taken the police chief's job to redeem past failures. Jane Crockett, the police dispatcher, is a native who has returned, nostalgic for the home she left behind. Jack Clayton is a drifter seeking the home he's never had. When a teen is raped and murdered and several other local youths are soon found dead, the once-peaceful town is thrown into an uproar.