When a thirteen-year-old girl is found murdered outside an adult video store, small-town Sheriff Ed Dojcsak expects it to be an open and shut case; after all, in a town of less than ten thousand off-season residents, how many child killers can there possibly be?
But Dojcsak soon comes to realize that while the possibilities are limited, the list of reasonable suspects is not. Children, he knows, are natural born victims, the canvas on which big people are capable and only too willing to project their anger, frustration, humiliation and fear. Anyone might have reason to kill a child, and have no reason at all.
Struggling unsuccessfully at home to cope with the demands of a terminally ill daughter, a failed marriage and his own failing anatomy, Dojcsak knows instinctively that to solve this crime he first must reclaim a past to which he now feels himself only remotely connected. To prevent the inevitable repeat of another tragic death he must do it quickly.