The back cover says: "A chill has settled over Malminster... Chief Inspector John Morrissey begins probing the death of the town's chief planning officer whose car has plunged off a bridge. Though ruled accidental, his widow is convinced that her husband was the victim of foul play. But where is the dead man's briefcase? When it's found at the bottom of a canal, it's without its papers--filled instead with stones anchoring the corpse of a powerful town official's mistress. Soon Morrissey is uncovering a dark side of the quiet village: a financial scam gone sour...and a killer whose carefully channeled appetite for violence is the root of current evil in Malminister..."